Jul 15, 2019

Obama appointees say Trump administration didn't delay $20 redesign

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Trump administration's reported delay of a $20 bill redesign featuring 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman actually aligns with internal timelines produced during the Obama administration, three current or former government officials appointed by President Obama told the Washington Post.

Driving the news: Larry R. Felix, the director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 2006 to 2015, said the probability of releasing a concept design in 2020 had always been low due to security and fraud risks, despite then-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's desire for an unveiling that coincided with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

  • Felix told the Post: "Those announcements were not grounded in reality. The U.S. had not at the time acquired the security features to redesign and protect the notes."

Context: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told the House Financial Services Committee in May that the new bill had been delayed until at least 2028 to allow for a focus on tackling counterfeiting issues, kicking off a backlash from Democratic lawmakers and forcing Treasury to issue a statement that the delay was "consistent with the prior Administration’s" timeline.

  • A former Obama appointee told the Post that the new $20 bill had always been scheduled for release toward 2030, consistent with the Trump administration's claims.
  • Bureau of Engraving and Printing Director Leonard R. Olijar, also appointed by Obama, told Congress last fall that the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee worked alongside his bureau to decide in 2013 that the $20 bill would not be released until 2030 — with no plan for a 2020 release of the Tubman design.

Go deeper: Schumer requests probe into Harriet Tubman $20 bill redesign delay

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Conway says Biden's "complicit" in Obama admin immigrant deportations

Activists including 50 immigrants protest against former Vice President Joe Biden in Philadelphia Wednesday. Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway tied the Obama administration's immigration record to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on "Fox News Sunday," as she defended President Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids.

Details: Conway told Fox News host Chris Wallace that immigration enforcement "happened under President Obama," when Biden was vice president. "Just this week, you saw massive protests at Joe Biden’s Philadelphia headquarters ... and those people are angry that he was complicit in the Obama-Biden deportation," she said.

Go deeperArrowJul 15, 2019

Booker to Biden: "You invoke Obama more than anybody in this campaign"

Sen. Cory Booker attacked former Vice President Joe Biden for refusing to condemn the high number of deportations carried out under the Obama administration, accusing Biden of invoking Obama "when it's convenient and dodge it when it's not."

Go deeperArrowAug 1, 2019

Obama shares ex-staffers' op-ed accusing Trump of poisoning democracy

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama shared Saturday a Washington Post op-ed by his former staffers, which criticizes President Donald Trump for his treatment of minority groups and for derogatory comments about 4 congresswomen of color.

"We stand with [the] congresswomen ... as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not. ... We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy."
— Obama former staffers, Washington Post op-ed
Go deeperArrowJul 28, 2019