Shaheen Requests Detailed Timeline From Treasury on Effort to Honor Harriet Tubman, Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights Movements on U.S. Currency

April 25, 2018

(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) wrote to U.S. Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and requested a detailed timeline for the Treasury Department’s plan to feature Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill by 2020, as well as other historical figures from the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements on the $5 and $10 bills – a plan that was announced two years ago. Shaheen’s letter requests that Secretary Mnuchin respond to whether or not the Treasury Department will meet the 2020 deadline, and if not, to explain why it cannot meet this goal. Shaheen also requested detailed responses about the Department’s plan to include images of heroes from the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements on the back of the $5 and $10 bills, and specifically, whether Treasury will continue with its plan for these notes.

“As you know, the Department announced its intention to feature Harriet Tubman on the front of this note and stated its goal for unveiling the new designs by 2020, in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote…The Department of Treasury announced this decision in response to a grassroots campaign that engaged hundreds of thousands of Americans behind a common mission: placing the likeness of a woman who has contributed to our nation’s history on our paper currency. After more than half a million votes online, the campaign suggested that the $20 bill feature Harriet Tubman, a trailblazing role model whose life of fighting for freedom and her country can inspire young girls across the country,” wrote Shaheen.

Shaheen continued, “This recognition is long overdue. Women have been a critical part of our nation’s history and values, and the lack of a woman on our American currency is glaring oversight. We handle paper currency every day, and the symbols on these bills represent American values and explain part of our identity as a nation. Unfortunately, the symbols on our paper currency have been reserved exclusively for men who have shaped our history. That’s why the time has come to honor the contributions that women have made to our society, and reaffirm that women will be an important part of our future.”

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to get a woman on the $20 dollar bill, and specifically, Harriet Tubman. Senator Shaheen introduced the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act of 2015, which would put Tubman’s portrait on the $20 bill.

The letter can be read in full here.