President Trump has tried to undo as many Obama-era policies as possible during his first 500 days in office, but his administration has remained curiously circumspect when it comes to one of his predecessor’s initiatives: putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
In a letter to Congress that was released on Tuesday, the Treasury Department praised Tubman, a former slave and abolitionist who is a civil rights hero, but made no commitment as to whether she would one day be the new face of the $20.
In 2016, former Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced that the currency was being redrawn, adding Tubman to the front and moving President Andrew Jackson to the back. The new designs were expected to be unveiled in 2020.
The letter, which was in response to a formal inquiry from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire, said Tubman’s “courage and persistence” were emblematic of America’s ideals and values.
But it did not say if she was still part of the redesign.
“The redesign of the next currency series is still in the early stages, and neither the final designs nor all features have been finalized for the new notes,” wrote Drew Maloney, the Treasury’s assistant secretary for legislative affairs. “For this reason, the department is unable to provide additional information regarding the potential designs at this time.”
It was also unclear when the redesign would be made public or be ready for circulation. Mr. Maloney said it would likely be more than 10 years before the new $20 note is released.
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