Trump Administration Fails To Endorse Putting Harriet Tubman On The $20, Because Of Course

by Hannah Golden
Alex Wong / Getty Images

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin motioned that he wouldn't commit to putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. Last year the Obama administration announced its plan to put women on our nation's currency, to be unveiled in 2020. Mnuchin's noncommittal response to move forward with the Tubman proposal was met with backlash on Twitter.

In an interview with CNBC, Mnuchin was asked if he supports his predecessor's decision to put Tubman on the bill. He responded,

Ultimately we will be looking at this issue. It's not something that I'm focused on at the moment.

Mnuchin mentioned that counterfeiting was the treasury's primary concern, saying,

The issues of why we change it will be primarily related to what we need to do for security purposes.

When pressed about the cultural aspect of the decision, Mnuchin sidestepped the issue and did not make his intentions clear one way or another whether he would support the Tubman change or scrap it.

The New York Times reports that Trump also expressed hesitance to this change on the campaign trail, saying,

I would love to leave Andrew Jackson and see if we can maybe come up with another denomination.

This change to our currency would've been the first time a woman was featured on paper notes in over a century, the Times reported. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced the change last April, ousting the slave-owner Andrew Jackson in favor of the heroic former slave and abolitionist Tubman.

The news that it might not happen sparked outrage on social media.

Many called out the implications of Mnuchin's statement for women, people of color, and our nation's history.

People also brought attention to the fact that Mnuchin wasn't asked about priorities, just about whether he supported it.

Users also labeled Mnuchin's emphasis on priorities as hypocritical, given the administration's response to recent events like Charlottesville.

The comedian and TV show host Chelsea Handler didn't miss the opportunity to make a joke about it.

Making light of the potential outcome if the plan does not go through, one user came up with another facetious solution.

Jackie Calmes, who covered the news of the replacement last year, had some thoughts about how abandoning the plan would go over.

It's unclear at this point whether the plan will ultimately go through for its 2020 date. But if the administration does decide to scrap it, they can expect to hear more where this came from.