President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have not delayed roll-out of the Harriet Tubman $20 bill, say Obama-era officials.
Multiple government officials appointed by President Barack Obama, including the current and former director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), have confirmed that Trump has not delayed the roll-out of a $20 bill featuring Tubman’s face, according to The Washington Post.
While there were originally announcements that the Tubman $20 bill would come out in 2020, “Those announcements were not grounded in reality,” former BEP director Larry Felix told The Washington Post. “The U.S. had not at the time acquired the security features to redesign and protect the notes.”
A confidential 2013 report by the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence committee corroborates Felix, postulating that it would take until 2030 to put the Tubman $20 into circulation with the proper counterfeiting security measures, according to The Post.
“Even the most optimistic scenarios,” would not put Tubman’s face on a bill until after the end of Trump’s second term, should he win one, explains Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
A number of other current and former officials appointed under the Obama administration have anonymously confirmed to The Post that creating new currency takes a long time, and that Trump has not impeded the process.
“The suggestion that the process is being delayed is completely erroneous,” Monica Crowley, Treasury Department Spokeswoman told The Post.
“U.S. currency is a world currency, it is important not to confuse the public with design changes,” said Obama appointed BEP director Len Olijar to CNBC on Monday. She also echoed the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence committee saying that it would be a mistake to release a draft if the bill too early, as this would “give counterfeiters a look at potential security features.”
In June, Salon claimed that the Tubman’s $20 was “delayed by the Trump administration.” MSNBC made the same accusation, running the headline “Harriet Tubman’s $20 bill delayed by Trump Administration.”
Congressional Democrats have heaped criticism on Trump for allegedly delaying the introduction of a new $20 featuring the face of Harriet Tubman in place of Andrew Jackson. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed “that the Trump Administration is refusing to honor Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill,” a move she called “an insult to the hope of millions.
Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen also blamed Trump for the delay, saying his alleged delay “sends an unmistakable message to women and girls, and communities of color,” according to The Post.
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