WASHINGTON — An Iowa congressman this week proposed legislation that would have blocked Harriet Tubman from replacing President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill, but it won’t get a vote after a committee determined it wasn’t in compliance with House rules.
Republican Rep. Steve King introduced an amendment to bar the Treasury Department from spending any funds to redesign paper money or coin currency.
The amendment would have nullified the Treasury Department’s plans to replace the current image of Jackson on the $20 bill with a portrait of Tubman, one of the most prominent abolitionists for her work in the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. She will become the first black woman ever to appear on a U.S. banknote.
Speaking to CNN at the Capitol on Wednesday, King said Tubman’s accomplishments didn’t measure up to the seventh president.
“As much as she did, she didn’t change the course of history,” King said.
But King’s amendment to block Tubman from the bill won’t get a vote in the House.
The House Rules Committee determined Tuesday evening that the amendment had a point of order, meaning it was not in compliance with House rules. The committee will not be taking up the amendment, averting a potentially contentious vote.
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire hit King’s amendment as an attention-grabbing stunt.
“For King, a Congressman who has based his entire career on hate speech and xenophobic policies, to accuse President Obama of dividing the country is the definition of hypocrisy. The truth is Rep. King is more interested in grabbing headlines than in improving the quality of life for Iowans in the 4th district,” McGuire said in a statement.
According to The Huffington Post, which first reported the story, the Iowa Republican was hoping to attach his legislation to another bill that will authorize the Treasury Department’s funding.
The Treasury Department announced in April that it would switch out Jackson for Tubman on the $20 bill.
CNN’s Tom LoBianco contributed to this report.
By Daniella Diaz and Betsy Klein