Harriet Tubman may not end up on the $20 bill after all, if comments by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are any indication. The Trump appointee and former Hollywood producer told CNBC on Thursday that the WH has “a lot more important issues to focus on” when asked about it.
In 2016, the Obama administration approved a redesign of the U.S. $20 bill that would replace seventh U.S. president Andrew Jackson with the African American abolitionist and underground railroad conductor. The new design is to take effect in 2020.
Mnuchin told CNBC that although he will “ultimately…be looking at this issue,” it’s not his main concern at the moment. In fact, Mnuchin’s top priority for the change in currency is to curb counterfeiting. “[The] issues of what we change will be primarily related to what we need to do for security purposes,” he explained. “I’ve received classified briefings on that. And that’s what I’m focused on for the most part.”
It’s not clear if Mnuchin’s noncommittal stance is a reflection of his boss’ wishes. But President Trump, a fan of Andrew Jackson, has previously spoken out against replacing the former president with Harriet Tubman on U.S. currency, a move he called “Pure political correctness” during the 2016 campaign. Ouch. Though to be fair, he said he also thinks Tubman is “fantastic,” and suggested she be put on the two-dollar bill instead.