RICHMOND, Va. – An updated version of the twenty-dollar bill featuring the American Confederate general Robert E. Lee is scheduled to make its debut in a handful of southern states later this month, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Treasury announced on Tuesday.
The new bill includes a portrait of the middle-aged Confederate general on its face while the reverse side features a scene depicting the Second Battle of Bull Run. “We are pleased to announce that the new twenty-dollar bill will make its debut on Monday, September 11th, in eleven states, including South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Virginia, Alabama, and Texas,” Treasury spokesperson Keith Davis announced during a press conference Tuesday morning.
The decision to replace the existing twenty-dollar banknote, which entered circulation in 1996, comes as President Donald J. Trump continues to work diligently to reverse his predecessor’s policies. “We had Barack Obama, who – for eight years and without any prior authorization from Congress – decided he was going to put Harriet Tubman on the twenty-dollar bill,” White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “Well, Wolf, he can’t do that,” Conway argued, continuing, “President Trump cares very deeply about the American people and he has said, time and time again, if we’re going to do it, we’ll replace one great man with another.”
Less than a week after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin pointedly avoided voicing support for a $20 bill featuring Harriet Tubman, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing – the agency responsible for producing paper currency – released a statement saying “current color and shading capabilities limit our ability to adequately depict [Harriet Tubman] on most forms of U.S. currency.” The statement went on to say that increased shading would make the bill “too dark” and, therefore, more susceptible to counterfeiting.
Treasury spokesperson Keith Davis said the redesigned twenty-dollar bill is scheduled for a nationwide release on January 19, 2018, and will coincide with the 211th anniversary of General Robert E. Lee’s birthday, as requested by the White House.