CNN’s Dana Bash was visibly frustrated Thursday when a currency expert declined to blame President Donald Trump for the delay in getting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
“Unfortunately, as much as my personal belief might lead me to be really excited about the idea of a woman, and an important woman like Harriet Tubman, I’m not surprised by the delay,” Sarah Miller, the director of numismatics at Heritage Auctions, told Bash. “To be honest with you, any changes with paper money are very slow.”
“For example, in 1913 they started talking about the idea of reducing the size of paper money, which at that time was much bigger than it is today — large size notes — and also changing the designs,” she continued. “And that took from 1913 all the way until 1929.”
Bash appeared dissatisfied with her answer. “Okay so, but that was 100 years ago,” she said, to which Miller quickly replied: “Oh indeed. And things are just as slow.” (RELATED: Remembering Harriet Tubman On The Centennial Of Her Death)
Earlier on her show Bash had teased the segment. “Harriet Tubman won’t be on the $20 bill as long as Trump is president, but is the excuse legit?” she had asked. The redesigned note is not expected to be released until after 2026.
Bash continued to press Miller. “But really? Even in today’s day and age it should take 12 years to get a new currency and bill up and running? You, you think the delay is legit?”
“I don’t like that there’s probably background reasons for it, and of course that’s a personal concern,” Miller replied. “I can also understand though that it is a slow process and the other problem that he brings up is the security, which [Trump] is right about. We are very behind the times on security for our paper money.”