Chuck Schumer wants investigation into delay of $20 bill redesign featuring Harriet Tubman

PHOTO: Harriet Tubman, African-American abolitionist and Union spy during the American Civil War, is pictured circa 1870.PlayUnderwood Archives/HB Lindsey/Getty Images
WATCH No Harriet Tubman on $20 bill next year: Mnuchin

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has requested an investigation into the Trump administration’s delay of the $20 bill redesign.

In a letter to the U.S. Department of Treasury Inspector General Eric Thorson, Schumer, D-N.Y., questioned the decision to delay the redesign, and asked the inspector general to inquire “whether political considerations played a role in the decision to delay the release."

"Any unnecessary delays, especially for political reasons, in redesigning the $20 note in her honor are improper and unacceptable," Schumer wrote.

In 2016, President Barack Obama's Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew announced plans for Tubman to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, as part of an effort to get more women on U.S. currency. The plan was set to go into effect in 2020.

However, the redesign was put on hold until 2028, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin explained the delay was necessary to accommodate anti-counterfeiting measures, which is handled by the Secret Service.

Mnuchin has not given his opinion on the bill redesign.

In his letter, Schumer also noted previous comments made by President Donald Trump when he called the efforts to replace President Jackson’s likeness on the front of the $20 note as “pure political correctness.”

PHOTO: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a press conference, June 18, 2019, in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer speaks during a press conference, June 18, 2019, in Washington, DC.

Specifically, Schumer wants to know if the Secret Service, Federal Reserve or the White House had "been allowed to infect the process for designing American currency."

Harriet Tubman was an extraordinary American and New Yorker whose story deserves to be shared with current and future generations,” said Schumer in his letter to Thorson. “She deserves to be honored for her bravery, compassion, and service to the United States. There is no reason to reverse the original decision to recognize her heroic legacy on the $20 note. Any unnecessary delays, especially for political reasons, in redesigning the $20 note in her honor are improper and unacceptable.”