Congresswoman Beatty Leads Congressional Effort to Put Harriet Tubman on the New Twenty
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, U.S. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) hosted a press conference to condemn Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s senseless decision to indefinitely delay putting renowned abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the new $20, to request more information on the decision from the Trump Administration, and to explore possible legislative remedies. Joining Beatty were the Democratic Women’s Caucus Co-Chairs Lois Frankel (FL-21), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), and Jackie Speier (CA-14), as well as U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-04). The press conference coincided with our nation’s observance of Juneteenth, the day commemorating the abolition of slavery in Texas and the former Confederate South.
On May 22, 2019, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the new $20 would be delayed until at least 2026 and refused to commit to upholding the decision to place Tubman on the redesigned $20. Since, news reports have called into question the motives behind the delay and contradicted the Trump Administration’s claim that the redesign was still in its early stages. In response, Beatty reintroduced the Woman on the Twenty Act, H.R. 3082. If enacted, H.R. 3082 would require a $20 bill printed after 2022 to prominently feature a portrait of the famous abolitionist.
“We are here today to make clear to Secretary Mnuchin that it is time to put a woman on the twenty,” Beatty said during the press conference. “His decision to delay the release of the new $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman and his refusal to commit to ensuring our currency reflects the values and diversity of our great country is extremely disappointing.” She continued, “Tubman embodies everything that makes up the American spirit—even before America recognized her as a free person—and that is why I will continue to work tirelessly to make sure she finds her rightful place on our nation’s currency.”
Beatty has fought throughout her time in Congress to secure a woman on our nation’s currency. In June 2015, she introduced the Woman on the Twenty Act, directing the Secretary of the Treasury to create a citizens’ panel to recommend a woman to be placed on a $20 bill. Several weeks later, 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 Treasury Secretary Jack 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 $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman.