Letter: Child poverty is up by 41 percent; extend the child tax credit now

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2022

While pumping gas or buying food at the grocery store, all of us in North Carolina have felt the burden from inflation. And adding to financial stress, the child tax credit payments expired, causing 3.7 million children to fall into poverty in January.

Research shows families with low incomes spent the child tax credit on basic needs like food, utilities, and housing costs. As the price of these costs have increased, assistance to provide these resources has decreased.

Families are struggling to pay for basic human needs because Congress allowed these resources to expire. Child poverty went down during the pandemic with the expansion of the credit, so we know it helps.

Will Congressman Patrick McHenry, Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Richard Burr build upon the child tax credit foundation, to get children out of poverty, by using political will? Make a lasting mark on our future generation, as the credit expansion benefits 90% of children in NC and lifts 135,000 children in NC out of poverty, by extending the 2021 child tax credit with permanent full refundability and resuming the monthly payments as soon as possible. Inaction is still action and your lack of action affects others.

— Emily Bird