Joe Biden has sought to dismantle much of Donald Trump’s legacy during his first week in the White House, including enacting a change to the currency that his predecessor rubbished as “pure political correctness”.
The US $20 note will soon display escaped slave and famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
Obama administration Treasury Secretary Jack Lew had selected Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson, the nation’s seventh president, on the $20 bill. However, the move was ultimately halted by Trump, who as a presidential candidate labelled it “pure political correctness.”
At the time, Trump suggested Tubman would be better-suited for the $2 bill, a note that is not widely circulated.
But earlier this week, amid a flurry of executive orders, Biden’s administration said it will return to the plan and was looking at ways to speed up the effort, saying the move would reflect US history and diversity.
“It’s important that our notes are... reflective of the history and diversity of our country and Harriet Tubman’s image gracing the new $20 note would certainly reflect that,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
“So we are exploring ways to speed up that effort.”
It’s just a small, but symbolic example of how Biden is trying to revert back to four years ago and expunge much of the Trump era.
No women have been depicted on US bills since former first lady Martha Washington, who was featured on the $1 silver certificate from 1891 to 1896, and Native American Pocahontas, who was part of a group image on the $20 bill from 1865 to 1869.
New York congresswoman Grace Meng was among those to celebrate the move.
“Thank you, Joe Biden I'm ready to (finally!) see this American hero on our $20,” she posted on Twitter Wednesday (local time).
Others expressed excitement about the fact the newly minted note would have the signature of Janet Yellen, the first woman to ever lead the US Treasury Department.
Republicans grumble about Biden’s executive orders
Republicans who cheered Trump's executive orders while in office are now grumbling about the “record number” during Biden’s early days.
Over the past week, a growing number of Republicans began sounding the alarm about the number and content of executive orders being issued by President Biden.
“The first week in office, what has Joe Biden done? He’s signed an executive order ending the Keystone pipeline, destroying 11,000 jobs,” senator Ted Criz said in a Tuesday interview on Fox News (local time).
“The scale of Joe Biden’s executive orders and their impact on Americans is stark,” complained Arkansas senator Tom Cotton last week.
Meanwhile Marco Rubio blasted Biden for issuing “more executive fiats than anyone in such a short period of time, ever. More than Obama, more than Trump, more than anyone. Second, these aren’t just normal executive fiats, this is literally going down the wish list of the far left and checking all of them off.”
Biden has in fact been on a record-setting pace for executive orders, signing more than 40 of them in his first week in office. Most, however, were written to overturn those of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
They have included an end to the travel ban from some majority-Muslim countries, a reversal in Trump’s immigrant enforcement policies, the rejoining of the Paris climate accord, the cancellation of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and an end to the policy of prohibiting transgender people from serving in the US military.
After years of complaints that former President Barack Obama had used executive orders as an end run around a deadlocked Congress, Republicans were silent if not jubilant when Trump did the same thing.
Not surprisingly, the pace of Trump’s executive orders increased after Democrats retook control of the House of Representatives, thereby blocking his prospects for passing legislation.
By the time his term ended, Trump had signed 220 executive orders in a single term. Obama, by comparison, signed 276 over his two terms.
with Yahoo News US, Reuters
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