Iowa Rep Tries to Keep Harriet Tubman Off $20, Fails

Steve King called move to swap in Tubman for Andrew Jackson 'racist,' 'sexist'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2016 8:14 AM CDT
In this Jan. 23, 2014, file photo, Republican US Rep. Steve King of Iowa speaks in Des Moines.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(Newser) – It was announced in April that abolitionist Harriet Tubman would be replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, but at least one Iowa lawmaker says it's "racist" and "sexist" to even consider adding a woman of color to US currency. "It's not about Harriet Tubman, it's about keeping the picture on the $20," Rep. Steve King said Tuesday while pointing to a pic of Andrew Jackson on a $20 bill he pulled out of his pocket, per Politico. "I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have." He also came to Jackson's defense, noting he was "in fine and good standing" as president, per the Omaha World-Herald, and adding that putting Tubman on the bill was nothing more than a "divisive proposal" on the part of Obama & Co.; he called his own status-quo solution "unifying."

King—who filed an amendment that would have prohibited the Treasury Department from spending money to revamp US paper currency or coins, per CNN—isn't alone in his anti-Tubman stance: Donald Trump has also blasted the icon switcheroo, calling it "pure political correctness" and maintaining Tubman should be relegated to the $2 bill instead. But the Republican-dominated House Rules Committee smacked down King's amendment Tuesday evening, deciding it woudn't be subject to a vote—a move Politico says shows a GOP "desire to avoid controversial votes in an election year." Meanwhile, Kim Weaver, King's Democratic competitor in Iowa, called his attempt a "headline-grabbing piece of stunt legislation." (Read more Harriet Tubman stories.)

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