Soon, tens of millions of American families will get an unusually direct federal benefit: cash deposited directly into their bank accounts.

As part of the American Rescue Plan passed by Democrats last March, the vast majority of Americans with kids with get an expanded Child Tax Credit, or CTC. Starting July 15 and going till the end of the year, most families with children in the United States will start receiving $250 to $300 monthly payments for each child they have.

This week in OtherWords, Karen Dolan explains this historic new benefit, which will reduce child poverty by half while it continues — and makes the case for making the expansion permanent.

Meanwhile, in our ongoing series of first person pieces by people who’ve lived in poverty, Adriana Cadena talks about what she learned growing up young, undocumented, and poor.

Also this week, Jill Richardson reports on a troubling new Florida law that threatens to greatly restrict academic freedom. Jim Hightower warns about voter suppression laws. And Khalil Bendib illustrates the grim predicament revealed by the Surfside Tower collapse.

PS. We’ll most likely be off next week for a short break, but we’ll send around some best-ofs next Wednesday. Should have more new stuff to share after that — thanks for reading!

New This Week…

Historic Relief for American Families Is on Its Way to Your Bank Account | Karen Dolan
If you’re a parent, odds are you’ll be getting a direct deposit very soon.

Getting Out of Poverty Shouldn’t Be About Luck | Adriana Cadena
I grew up poor and undocumented. Here’s what I’ve learned.

A Dangerous Moment for Academic Freedom | Jill Richardson
Florida officials say they want to promote “intellectual freedom” — by using political surveys to target university funding.

Republicans Are Trying to Outlaw Democracy | Jim Hightower
The more Americans vote, the stronger our democracy. For Republican lawmakers, that’s a problem.

In Need of Repair… And Reparations | Khalil Bendib
The Surfside collapse illustrates, very literally, that a house divided cannot stand.

In Case You Missed It…

We Can Have the Filibuster or Democracy, But Not Both | Peter Certo
The warning from democracy advocates is clear: Kill the filibuster and pass the For the People Act, or our democracy won’t survive.

To Fight Poverty, Cut the Pentagon Budget | T.J. Thompson
For me, the military wasn’t a way out of poverty. Instead, militarism is why so many of us are poor in the first place.

Now’s the Time to Unrig the Tax Code | Sarah Anderson
Leaked IRS data proves the rumors are true: Many billionaires pay no income taxes. Will that spur reform?

The Cynical War on ‘Critical Race Theory’ | Jill Richardson
One conservative activist is weaponizing resentment over diversity trainings into an all-out, red-baiting culture war.

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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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