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U.S. should extend federal child tax credit | READER COMMENTARY

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks on as House Democrats react to the passage of the Build Back Better Act at the U.S. Capitol on November 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks on as House Democrats react to the passage of the Build Back Better Act at the U.S. Capitol on November 19, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images) (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden signed the infrastructure bill, a substantial investment in our country, into law on Nov. 15. Now, The Baltimore Sun informs us, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Build Back Better bill, an investment in Americans (”Democrats’ sweeping social, climate bill passes divided House,” Nov. 19).

Included in the Build Back Better bill is a on-year extension of the enhanced child tax credit, or CTC. The CTC has reduced hunger and insecurity for more than 3 million children including thousands in Maryland. Research shows lifting kids out of poverty means they will likely have higher grades, healthier bodies and minds and earn more as adults. Good for our society!

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As a teacher, I am keenly aware that adverse childhood experiences can inhibit my students’ learning. On the positive side, though, experts say we can cope with adversity if we know others care about us and help us meet our basic needs. The child tax credit does just that — it shows that we have the backs of our most vulnerable neighbors.

As the Senate takes up the bill, let’s tell our youngest Americans that we care about them and help them learn and lead us into the future. Make the enhanced credit permanent or at least extend it beyond 2022. We citizens can call our supportive U.S. Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin and demand they push for this critical bill.

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Jan Kleinman, Baltimore

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