After Calling for Currency Updates, Shaheen Cheers Decision to Add Tubman to $20

Apr 21, 2016

In the last year, the senator filed several bills to increase female representation on U.S. currency.

Count Sen. Jeanne Shaheen among those cheering the news that Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill.

For the last year, Shaheen has been one of the leading voices in Congress calling for more female representation on U.S. currency.

"I think she’s a great choice because of her fight for equality and freedom," Shaheen said Wednesday, following the Treasury Department's announcement. "It really embodies the American spirit, and I think she deserves to be featured alongside our founding fathers."

According to the Treasury Department, several other women — including Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Eleanor Roosevelt — will also be featured on new versions of the $10 and $5 bills, as well. 

"I think the fact that women are going to be featured on a number of our bills, our currency, really speaks to recognizing, finally, the role that women have played in the history of this country," Shaheen said.

Last year, Shaheen introduced a bill aiming to put a woman on the $20. She also wrote to President Obama with the same request.  

Shaheen says she was inspired by a grassroots “Women on 20s” effort that has also been pushing for the currency changes. 

But Shaheen and some others advocating for the updates ended up adjusting their plans after the Treasury Department said it was open to putting a woman on the $10, not the $20, because the $10 bill was already slated for a redesign.

In response, Shaheen introduced another proposal to put Tubman on the $10. Tubman won out in an online poll conducted by the Women on 20s campaign to decide who should end up on the new bills.

That proposal to put Tubman on the $10 bill hadn’t moved forward by the time the Treasury Department signaled its plans to put the abolitionist on the $20, after all.

The Treasury says it's aiming to roll out the designs for the news bills in 2020, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the law that gave women the right to vote.