Writer supports passage of Build Back Better Act


Bernie Sanders was in Preble County this summer.

You didn’t see him, but what he did for families in the COVID-19 relief bill (H.R. 1319, American Rescue Plan Act of 2021) was in full view and even made the paper a couple times.

Record attendance was reported for the Preble County Fair and Pork Festival this year, and according to one buyer that attended the sale of champions at the end of the fair, the sale was well attended and most projects sold for $300 or more.

Since July 15, the average family in Preble County has been getting monthly supplements of $300 per kid under six, and $250 per kid under 18. That makes a major difference in our local economy. It’s not cheap to take the whole family to the movies, let alone the Pork Festival or the Fair, but somehow a record number of people found the extra money to make the trip.

This expanded Child Tax Credit is estimated by the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University to have cut child poverty in half. According to Children’s Defense Fund’s The State of America’s Children 2021 Report, there are about 73,000,000 children in the US, which is 22 percent of the US population. They also estimate that about 10 million children, nearly one in seven, lived in poverty prior to this tax credit.

This tax credit for families is long overdue and you would be hard pressed to find a parent who is complaining about the help. This assistance, unfortunately, goes away after the end of the year unless the reconciliation bill H.R. 5376, also known as the Build Back Better Act, passes. This bill contains more than just the child tax credit; it establishes programs to provide up to six semesters of free community college for each kid, free child care for children under the age of six, free universal preschool services, up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, expansion of medicare to include dental, vision, and hearing insurance, and small business assistance and development.

This bill will absolutely help the average Preble County resident and business owner, and I’m happy to let you know you can use your power to give these benefits to yourself and your fellow neighbors. Ohio elected Rob Portman to the US Senate and he’s on his way out with nothing to lose. You, as a republican who probably voted for Rob Portman, can call his office at 202-224-3353 and let him know that he absolutely should make sure H.R. 5376 passes. If it doesn’t, we will go back to the struggle and our kids will lose in the end.

We either value families and kids here, or we don’t. Politicians often run on the concept of “family values,” and this is our opportunity to make sure they deliver for families.

I hope you can find time to tell Senator Portman that we value families and expect him to vote for HR 5376, because in Preble County, we value kids, families, and seniors. At least that’s what we think we vote for…

Amy Cox