Treasury Department Will Finally Look Into Delay Behind $20 Harriet Tubman Bill

June 26, 2019  |  

Harriet Tubman

Source: Historical / Getty

For over three years now the Black delegation has waited for the unveiling of the $20 Harriet Tubman bill.

The production of the currency has seen several delays since it was first announced by the Obama administration, following into Trump’s administration. Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson, one of the country’s first presidents who was also a slave holder. Tubman’s image would serve as an honorable swap, being that she led hundreds of slaves to freedom.

Tubman’s likeness on the $20 bill would mark the first time a Black person, let alone a Black woman, would appear on American currency.

Last month Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified on Capital Hill and revealed that the bill would be postponed until 2026, with a launch date scheduled for sometime in 2028. He said the delay was because his department was making security upgrades to the $5 and $10 as a priority.

Now an investigative inquiry will be conducted to look into the delay, according to NPR.

On June 19, New York State Senator Chuck Schumer wrote a letter to acting Inspector General of the Treasury Department, Rich Delmar, calling for an investigation. Delmar works as a watchdog over the department.

“We do not know the real reason for these decisions, but we do know that during his campaign, President Trump referred to efforts to replace President Jackson’s likeness on the front of the $20 note as ‘pure political correctness,’” Schumer wrote. “Secretary Mnuchin attempted to explain the delay as necessary to accommodate anti-counterfeiting measures, but it is simply not credible that with all the resources and expertise of the U.S. Treasury and Secret Service, a decade or more could be required to produce a new $20 bill.”

Delmar responded in a letter later that week, saying that an investigation into the bill’s delay would be part of a larger pre-planned audit and as part of that inquiry the department, “will interview the stakeholders involved in the new note design process,” Delmar wrote.

“If, in the course of our audit work, we discover indications of employee misconduct or other matters that warrant a referral to our Office of Investigations, we will do so expeditiously,” he continued.

The audit is scheduled to take around 10 months.

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