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Treasury Department watchdog to investigate Harriet Tubman $20 bill delay

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

Responding to a request from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Treasury Department's acting inspector general will investigate the department's "decision to delay redesign of the $20 note featuring the portrait of Harriet Tubman, including any involvement by the White House."

Context: The Obama administration had planned for a redesigned bill featuring Tubman on the front side and President Andrew Jackson on the back to be released in 2020 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a House Financial Services Committee hearing in May that the redesign had been delayed until 2028 because the administration was more focused on redesigning the currency to tackle counterfeiting issues.

A Treasury Department spokesperson told Axios:

"The timeline for issuing new notes is not a political process, and the timeline for issuing a new $20 note remains consistent with the prior Administration’s. As the Department and Bureau of Engraving and Printing have consistently stated, the only consideration with regard to the redesign schedule of our Nation’s currency has been security and potential counterfeiting threats."