A watchdog in the Treasury Department will probe the Trump administration’s handling of Harriet Tubman’s image on the $20 bill, according to a letter released by a Democratic lawmaker on Monday.
The Treasury Inspector General’s Office will incorporate questions surrounding the timing of the release of the abolitionist’s image on the $20 bill into an audit “that is about to get underway,” said a letter from the office, which was sent to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in response to his requests.
Democrats such as Schumer have requested an investigation after the New York Times reported this month that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin delayed Tubman’s appearance on the $20 bill until after the president leaves office. President Trump has publicly lamented the idea of replacing Andrew Jackson, the bill’s current occupant.
The Trump administration has strongly denied that it delayed the release of a new $20 bill or that the timing of the change was being driven by political concerns.
In sworn congressional testimony last fall, Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Leonard R. Olijar said the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, a nonpolitical body, decided in 2013 that the $20 bill would not be released until 2030. Olijar was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Mnuchin said in a statement this month there have been no delays in the release of Tubman on the $20 bill.
“The timeline for issuing new notes is not a political process, and the timeline for issuing a new $20 note remains consistent with the prior Administration’s,” a Treasury Department spokesman said in a statement on Monday. “As the Department and Bureau of Engraving and Printing have consistently stated, the only consideration with regard to the redesign schedule of our Nation’s currency has been security and potential counterfeiting threats.”