During a White House press briefing, the press secretary announced the “Treasury Department is taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the front of the new $20 notes.”
Creating the new $20 Federal Reserve Notes with a portrait of the abolitionist began in 2016 to have Tubman appear on the $20 note by 2020, the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. Although the Bureau of Engraving and Printing continued to work on the project, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin eventually announced that a future administration would decide if having her portrait was appropriate. Mnuchin targeted 2030 as the earliest a new $20 note would appear.
Sources report that Mnuchin delayed the stoppage of the process as long as possible. He knew that the president did not support this change. After the announcement, sources report that the work continued without permission.
Although the source did not know the engraving status, it is speculated that the intaglio printing plates for the new $20 notes may be ready before the end of the year.
When the plates are ready, they will include the signature of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The Senate approved Yellen’s appointment on an 84-15 vote. She will be the 78th Treasury Secretary and the first woman in that role in the department’s 232-year history.
Previously, Yellen was the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under Clinton, President of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco, and served on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors before being appointed the Board’s chair 2014.