Proposal That Would Have Kept Harriet Tubman Off $20 Bill Fails

William Petroski, Des Moines Register 3 p.m. EDT June 22, 2016

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Steve King introduced an amendment in Congress that would have prevented Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and supporter of women’s suffrage, from replacing President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

However, the House Rules Committee agreed Tuesday night to deny floor consideration of proposal, which would have prevented the Treasury Department from spending money to redesign paper currency or coins.

tubman2The Iowan Republican’s amendment, which was first reported by the Huffington Post, would scrap the federal government’s plans to replace Jackson on the $20 bill with a picture of Tubman, a black woman who was born in to slavery in 1822 and later escaped. She subsequently made repeated missions on the Underground Railroad to rescue black people from slavery. During the Civil War, she served as a Union Army scout and spy.

“It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20,” King said Tuesday night, according to Politico, pulling a $20 bill from his pocket and pointing at President Andrew Jackson. “Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have.”

Politico quoted King as saying it is “racist” and “sexist” to say a woman or person of color should be added to currency.

“Here’s what’s really happening, this is liberal activism on the part of the president, that’s trying to identify people by categories and he’s divided us on the lines of groups. … This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president and mine’s unifying. It says just don’t change anything.”

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