Beatty, Katko Keep Pushing for Tubman on the Twenty
WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03), Chair of the powerful Congressional Black Caucus, and U.S. Congressman John Katko (NY-24) sent a letter today to Secretary Janet Yellen calling on the U.S. Department of Treasury to provide an updated timeline for the reveal and circulation of all Federal Reserve notes currently undergoing the redesign process. Included among the list of proposed notes, is the much-anticipated, long-awaited new $20 bill featuring the portrait of famous abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
“Harriet Tubman’s legacy as a champion for freedom and equality has made her a pivotal figure in American history and served as an inspiration to millions. As a conductor on the Underground Railroad and a supporter of the women’s suffrage movement, Tubman played a critical role in some of the most significant efforts in our country’s history to ensure the basic rights of all Americans,” the bipartisan duo’s letter reads in part. “With this history in mind, memorializing Harriet Tubman on the $20 note continues to act as a fitting tribute to her life and legacy, and an important step in recognizing her contributions to our nation.”
The Beatty-Katko letter is a follow-up to the Biden-Harris Administration’s response during a January 25th press conference that the White House was “exploring ways to speed up that effort.” However, since then, there has been no official update. A full copy of the letter can be accessed on Beatty’s website.
Of note, Beatty has fought throughout her time in Congress to secure a woman on our nation’s currency. In June 2015, she introduced the original Woman on the Twenty Act, directing the Secretary of Treasury to create a citizens’ panel to recommend a woman to be placed on a $20 bill. That same year, she spoke from the House floor in support of putting Harriet Tubman on the new $20. The following April, Beatty wrote a letter to former Secretary Lew, calling on the Department to fast track the new note and have it in circulation by 2020. Then, in 2017, Beatty wrote Mnuchin, urging him to recommit to the redesign of the twenty-dollar bill featuring Harriet Tubman. In 2019, Beatty also led a press conference, joined by a group of more than 30 Members of Congress, on the steps of the U.S. Department of Treasury to demand the change. This Congress, she took her actions a step further, authoring an updated version of the Woman on the Twenty Act to prohibit any new $20s from being printed without an image of Tubman.
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