Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith joins Kristin Myers to break down the latest out of D.C., as Democrats push to raise minimum wage.
KRISTIN MYERS: All right, let's head to the Hill right now for the latest updates out of Washington DC, what President Biden has plans on speaking later today about racial equity. We have Yahoo Finance's Jessica Smith here with all of the details. Hey, Jess.
JESSICA SMITH: Hey, Kristin. Yeah, in just about an hour, we are set to hear from President Biden as he outlines his plan for racial equity and several executive actions that he is taking today. Right now, the White House press secretary is talking to reporters about these actions. And the White House says that Biden is going to direct the Department of Justice not to renew any contracts with private prisons. He's also going to direct HUD to examine past regulatory actions that have had discriminatory impacts and mandate that HUD promotes fair housing policies.
Now, Biden has vowed that racial equity is going to be at the center of his agenda. And I did speak with Congresswoman Joyce Beatty ahead of these announcements today. She is the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. She says it is huge to have a leadership at the top who is focused on racial equity. She says that this is going to help lawmakers advance legislation on this issue. Let's watch.
JOYCE BEATTY: We have certainly a plethora of economic and educational bills that are all centered around the injustices that we have faced, and also when you look at the conscious and unconscious biases that are out there. So it begins an open dialogue. It gives us not only hope, but progress, because this is something that we've been fighting for, and now to be able to have it as a reality because the president is putting racial justice and equity in every cabinet, in every agency.
JESSICA SMITH: Now, part of the president's plan for a more equitable economy is to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Today, top Democrats in the House and the Senate introduced a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. In a statement about the legislation, Senator Bernie Sanders said "we can no longer tolerate millions of workers not being able to afford to feed their families or pay the rent. The time for talk is over, no more excuses."
Now, we have heard Republicans in recent days pushing back on the idea of a minimum wage hike, pushing back on the idea of including it in a stimulus package. And now Democrats are exploring ways that they might be able to do this without Republicans through the process known as reconciliation. And we will see if they're able to get that done through that process, but that's something they're looking at now, Kristin.
KRISTIN MYERS: Jess, I can't let you go, especially since we're having a conversation about money, without talking about the $20 bill. And I've been seeing some mock-ups of Harriet Tubman on the $20. What's going on there? How soon might we see Harriet Tubman on our $20s?
JESSICA SMITH: Yeah, you might remember, this was a plan during the Obama administration. But then when President Trump took office, he really slowed and delayed that process, pushed it off until at least 2026 or something like that. It was quite a ways off. But now the White House says that they are resuming those efforts to put her on the $20 bill. They say they are looking at ways to speed up that process.
We're not exactly sure on timing yet, but I did speak with Congresswoman Beatty about this. She's been leading an effort to get this done since 2015. And she says she's introducing a bill this week that would require any new bills after 2024 to have her on them. So we'll keep you updated on when we might see this change.
KRISTIN MYERS: It'll be all about the Tubmans. I could not resist making that pun. Thank you so much, Jess Smith.