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Letter: Support expansion of Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit programs

Congress allowed the 2021 CTC and EITC provisions to expire in December, putting the gains we made in reducing child poverty, supporting workers and promoting racial justice at risk of disappearing.

Letter to the editor FSA
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North Dakota was allocated $352 million in pandemic rent support, only to return $149 million of it , because of a faulty distribution system. (Grand Forks Herald editorial, 1/12/2022). Not enough effort was made to get the money to those who needed it most.

On the national level, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act (BBB) last November. This bill would have continued policies that lifted 3 to 4 million out of poverty last year by expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and helping low-wage workers to make ends meet through the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It also made critical investments to help families find stable, affordable housing through additional Housing Choice Vouchers.

Congress allowed the 2021 CTC and EITC provisions to expire in December, putting the gains we made in reducing child poverty, supporting workers and promoting racial justice at risk of disappearing. In addition, funding for 300,000 new Housing Choice Vouchers was lost. As we know, the BBB stalled in the Senate. Negotiators are now working on passing a new version of BBB. It is essential that core policies that help children, workers and renters are part of any deal.

Out of concern for the fate of our nation’s children, over the past few years, scholars at the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute combined efforts to identify policies which would improve the lives of our children. Although these experts reflect differing positions on how to address the needs, they are united in their agreement that our government needs to rebalance our investments toward children. (Rebalancing: Children First, A Report of the AEI-Brookings Working Group on Childhood in the United States). In other words, experts on both sides of the political aisle are urging us to take heed and provide the resources necessary to insure a bright future for the next generation, acknowledging that we are failing to do that.

Our congressional delegation, Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, are in a position to make a crucial difference. Let’s ask them to support the expansion of the CTC and EITC and funding for new Housing Choice Vouchers. The future of our children is at stake.

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