Starting July 15, most families can receive the new Child Tax Credit as a monthly payment. An extra $250-300 each month will help families succeed, from working families struggling to pay for food, rent, and bills, to middle-class families that need help with childcare and college savings. One important consequence is that four thousand children in our state of North Dakota will be lifted above the poverty line, according to research from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

This new CTC is a breakthrough, potentially cutting child poverty by almost half over the next year. According to the CBPP, in North Dakota that will affect the 40,000 children under 17 left out of the full $2,000 Child Tax Credit in the prior law. But the CTC improvements, along with much needed changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-wage workers, will expire after 2021, forcing millions of younger workers and families with children back into poverty. Congress must not let that happen.

I urge our members of Congress, Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, to make the 2021 CTC and EITC changes permanent in recovery legislation this year. The need is urgent. I ask that they cast their votes to lift families out of poverty and help all of our children to thrive.

Kathleen Ness, Grand Forks

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