Design for Now-Delayed Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Revealed

Mnuchin announced a delay of six years for "technical reasons"

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced a six year delay in the bill last month. (Alex Wong/ Getty)
By Ariel Scotti / June 14, 2019 12:10 pm

The design for the $20 bill that was supposed to bear the likeness of former slave and abolitionist Harriet Tubman was unearthed by The New York Times about a month after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that it would be delayed for about six years for “technical reasons.”

The bill would have been the first piece of American currency to depict an African-American, but it will now be up to a future administration as the timeframe set by Mnuchin would push the bill’s completion date well past President Trump’s  time in the White House, even if he wins a second term.

This specific part of Mnuchin’s announcement — Trump’s time in office — has stirred some speculation, according to the Times, that the President intervened in order to keep his reportedly favorite Commander in Chief, Andrew Jackson, on the $20.

Mnuchin has claimed that new currency security features made former President Obama’s 2020 deadline — which would have coincided with the centennial of the 19th amendment, women’s right to vote — for the Tubman $20 impossible to meet, regardless of the work that has been so far put into the design for the new bill. The Times reported, however, that the work already completed “most likely could have satisfied the goal of unveiling a note” by next year as the preliminary design was completed in late 2016.

A person within the Bureau of Engraving and Printing told the newspaper that they personally viewed a metal engraving plate and a digital image of the bill to honor Tubman as recently as May 2018.

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