In April, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s likeness would be added to the $20 bill where it will accompany that of President (and slave owner) Andrew Jackson. Yesterday (June 21), a congressman attempted to keep that change from happening.
Politico reports that Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) filed an amendment to the bill that funds the Treasury Department that would prevent officials from adding her—or anyone else—to any U.S. currency. But before it could make an impact, the Rules Committee blocked it from being considered on the floor.
“It’s not about Harriet Tubman, it’s about keeping the picture on the $20,” King said Tuesday evening, pulling a $20 bill from his pocket and pointing at President Andrew Jackson. “Y’know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have.”
The conservative gadfly said it is “racist” and “sexist” to say a woman or person of color should be added to currency. “Here’s what’s really happening: This is liberal activism on the part of the president that’s trying to identify people by categories, and he’s divided us on the lines of groups…. This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president, and mine’s unifying. It says just don’t change anything….”
“President Obama’s on his way out the door,” he said. “He’s going to do everything he can think of to upset this society and this civilization.”