An attempt by Representative Steve King of Iowa to block the Treasury Department’s plan to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill failed Tuesday night after the House Rules committee decided not to consider his proposal to withhold funds for redesign of American currency in an annual appropriations bill. “It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20,” King said Tuesday, according to Politico. “Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have,” King added, pointing at Jackson’s face on a $20 bill.
The Treasury Department announced in April that Tubman would replace Jackson on the $20 bill in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Alexander Hamilton will remain on the front of the $10, but the back will feature suffragists such as Lucretia Mott, Sojourner Truth, and Susan B. Anthony. The $5 bill is also set to be redesigned with representations of famous events at Lincoln Memorial — including, most notably, Martin Luther King delivering his “I Have a Dream” speech.
Representative King is best known for introducing legislation to revoke birthright citizenship of children of undocumented immigrants — in 2013, he famously said that for every child of an immigrant “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there that weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” King has called the proposed changes to the currency “racist” and “sexist.” Other conservatives, including Donald Trump, have also objected to changing the face of the $20 bill, calling it “pure political correctness.”
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