The Biden administration may have expressed interest in restarting the process to get Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, but it turns out it’s not that easy. The push to get the abolitionist to replace Andrew Jackson on the bill has faced a lot of roadblocks. It was originally set to be released last year, but during the Trump administration, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said it would be put on hold until 2028. Then, just days after Joe Biden took office, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the current administration was trying to fast-track the change:
“The Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriett Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes. It’s important that our notes, our money… reflect the history and diversity of our country, and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that. So we’re exploring ways to speed up that effort.”
Now, four months later, The Washington Post reports there really isn’t a clear path to speed things up, “The Tubman battle has become a case study in the difficulty of marshaling the bureaucratic machinery of government.” Len Olijar, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, told the newspaper that part of the holdup is anti-counterfeiting features, “We are committed to the goal of redesigning U.S. currency to better reflect the history and diversity of our country… But the security of our currency remains paramount.”
The plan to put Tubman on the $20 bill was put into place during the Obama administration back in 2016, but now it’s unclear when the change will ever be made.