For millions of American families, this January meant financial strain.

Why? Because Republicans, together with Democrat Joe Manchin, have stalled the renewal of the expanded Child Tax Credit. That credit reduced child poverty by 30 percent in December alone, but in January — the first month without payments — the rate is expected to climb to its highest point in a year.

This week in OtherWords, Clara Moore explains how those monthly payments changed her life — and her child’s life — for the better. Don’t miss it!

Meanwhile, Martha Burk marks another sober January milestone: Roe v. Wade’s 49th anniversary — and possibly its last. If the Supreme Court throws out a half-century of precedent on reproductive health, Martha argues, then ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment will become more important than ever.

Also this week, in the wake of a failed Senate vote on voting rights, Robert P. Alvarez explains what makes the Senate filibuster so outdated — and dangerous. Still, he writes, the days of this arcane Senate practice may be numbered.

Finally, Jim Hightower takes an uncharitable view of billionaires who “give back” through charity. And Khalil Bendib imagines the crisis in Eastern Europe from Russia’s perspective.

New This Week…

Why Are We Torching Our Best Tool to End Child Poverty? | Clara Moore
My daughter and I were on the verge of homelessness before the Child Tax Credit. What’s going to happen to vulnerable families now?

The Filibuster Is Busted. Time to Scrap It. | Robert P. Alvarez
Letting small minorities of senators block things most Americans support delivers obstruction, not bipartisanship

To Protect Women’s Health, Pass the Equal Rights Amendment | Martha Burk
The Supreme Court may soon overturn half a century of legal precedent on abortion. Here’s one idea to protect their rights.

An Uncharitable View of Charity | Jim Hightower
If billionaires are saying they want to “give back,” it’s because we’ve been letting them take too much.

Why So Paranoid? | Khalil Bendib
Russian aggression toward Ukraine is wrong, but at least in part it’s a reaction to a years-long military buildup on its borders.

In Case You Missed It…

My Disabled Life Is Worthy | Olivia Alperstein
The loss of disabled and chronically ill lives due to COVID-19 is no less tragic or preventable.

Russia Is Wrong to Bully Ukraine, But It’s Not Worth a War | Mitchell Zimmerman
Peace cannot be found if the U.S. relies on the self-righteous assertion of principles that our government refuses to apply to itself.

Gitmo’s Shameful Twentieth Anniversary | Farrah Hassen
President Biden must use his executive authority to close this sordid chapter in our nation’s history.

It’s Time for Biden to Keep His Promises on Marijuana | Paul Armentano
Even without Congress, the president could take important steps to ease federal cannabis prohibition. What’s he waiting for?

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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