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Congressional Black Caucus Chair: 'We never stopped believing' Tubman would be on the $20 bill

Jessica Smith
·Chief Political Correspondent
·2 min read

As the White House says it’s resuming efforts to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D., Ohio) is re-introducing legislation to ensure Tubman replaces Andrew Jackson on the $20 note.

“While we are very honored by what President Biden is doing, we will still proceed with the legislation — so it can't be unchanged or undone down the years,” said Beatty in an interview with Yahoo Finance.

Beatty, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, has been among those leading the effort to make Tubman the face of the $20 bill. Her legislation would require twenties printed after 2024 to feature Tubman, the American abolitionist who became a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad.

“As we talk about our wonderful democracy and as we talk about being reflective of what we look like, I thought it would be important to have a female,” said Beatty.

“I think that it allows the nation to have an opportunity to really see what diversity and democracy looks like,” she added.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Monday the administration was looking at ways to speed up the process of revamping the $20 bill, an effort the Trump administration put on hold.

“This is almost like a dream come true,” said Beatty. “We never stopped believing even when we talked with Secretary Mnuchin — who stalled us, who denied to really sit down and actually plan with us, or have a plan.”

In this image from video, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)
In this image from video, Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. (House Television via AP)

Beatty also praised Biden for his effort to put racial equity at the center of his agenda. Biden outlined his plans for racial equity and signed several related executive actions on Tuesday.

The Congresswoman told Yahoo Finance having the White House focused on the injustices that Black Americans face will help lawmakers enact the “plethora” of racial injustice bills they’ve been working on in recent years.

“It begins an open dialogue. It gives us not only hope, but progress — because this is something that we've been fighting for,” she said.

“Having a female and a Black female to be the Vice President of these United States — someone who's been in the fight,” said Beatty. “I think it gives us a great advantage to really speak to America about, this is the time for more than hope. This is a time for progress and change.”

Jessica Smith is chief political correspondent for Yahoo Finance, based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.

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