Letter: Congress must work to expand child tax credit – Grand Forks Herald

The May 7 issue of The Grand Forks Herald highlighted two basic needs affecting families within our extended community: food and child care. One article featured local letter carriers who are hosting their 30th annual food drive to collect donations for five local food banks. Another article discussed the high cost of child care for working families in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and the resulting exodus of young parents from the workforce. It is heartening to see local efforts to address these issues. At the same time, it is heartbreaking that our leaders in Congress have not done more.

The situation is dire not only here, but across the country. Last year, our national leaders dropped the ball by not renewing the Child Tax Credit expansion that gave families monthly checks of $250 to $300 per child every month, helping 36 million families Across the country. A Columbia University study noted that the December payments alone kept 3.7 million children out of poverty. Now that those monthly CTC payments have stopped and food prices are rising, an additional 2 million people with children reported not having enough to eat sometimes or often, compared to last summer. Conditions have deteriorated for the families, and so far Congress has responded by looking the other way.

The expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) must be reinstated. Research on the spending habits of those who received payments indicates that the money went for necessities, such as food and childcare. I ask the North Dakota Congressional Delegation, Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, and Representative Kelly Armstrong, to support the restoration of CTC expansion through their influence and votes.