February 2, 2016 Advocacy Alert

Bipartisan Letter Supporting OAA Reauthorization Circulating in the House
Encourage Republican Representatives to Sign the Letter

In an effort to build momentum around Older Americans Act reauthorization in the House, Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN) and Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY) are circulating a bipartisan sign-on letter to be sent to Education & Workforce Committee Leadership, Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA), urging them to move OAA reauthorization as soon as possible.
n4a believes that lawmakers are very close to agreement on a House OAA bill, with only a few remaining issues for committee leaders to work through. However, because 2016 is an election year, there is an abbreviated legislative calendar, and we must keep up the drumbeat to pass a bipartisan OAA reauthorization this year!
n4a has already begun reaching out to key lawmakers to get them on the letter, but it’s important they also hear from you! However, it is critical that the letter reflect a balanced number of Republican and Democratic lawmakers. Some letters like this tend to draw large numbers of Democrats, which can make it harder to recruit Republicans. 
That’s why this n4a grassroots call to action is so targeted: If any of the Representatives in your area are Republicans, please reach out to their offices now to encourage them to sign the Nolan-Gibson letter by close of business Friday, Feb. 5.

Action 1 Requested: If your Representative is a Republican on the House Education & Workforce Committee, it’s especially important that you reach out, as the support of Committee Members will carry more weight with Committee Leadership! Please encourage your Representative to sign on to the letter and also encourage him or her to reach out to Chairman Kline directly in support of getting Older Americans Act reauthorization passed this year!

Action 2 Requested: If your Representative is a Republican but doesn’t serve on the Education & Workforce Committee, please reach out anyway! It is important that we get as many Members in the majority as possible to sign on to this letter.  

To assist your outreach, please feel free to use and modify this email template. Make sure to personalize it with information about your agency and why getting a bipartisan OAA reauthorization passed this year is critical to the seniors in your community!
A copy of the letter is available here and below:
February XX, 2016

Chairman John Kline
Committee on Education & the Workforce
2176 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Ranking Member Robert C. Scott
Committee on Education & the Workforce
2101 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott:

We write to urge action on an Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorization as soon as possible as the Education and Workforce Committee considers its hearing and markup schedule for 2016.

As you know, the Senate recently passed a much-needed reauthorization of OAA, which is the primary federal law that covers social and nutrition services for older persons and their caregivers. From meal delivery to respite care, OAA supports a wide range of social services and programs for both older individuals and their families. It also strengthens communities by improving socialization and independence for seniors.

Since it was enacted into law in 1965, millions of our most vulnerable older Americans have relied on the services provided by the OAA for their health and economic security. We hope your committee, facing a shortened legislative calendar, can take prompt action on a reauthorization that finds a balanced, pragmatic approach to helping older Americans live longer with independence and dignity in their homes and communities.

We applaud the progress the Committee has already made on this important legislation and stand ready to work with you in a bipartisan fashion to advance a bill that protects the essential suite of programs and services that assist, protect, nourish and sustain the nation’s older Americans, help them maximize their choices, and promote dignity and independence in a fiscally responsible way.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

______________________                                        ______________________
Richard M. Nolan                                                       Chris Gibson
Member of Congress                                                   Member of Congress

The deadline to sign on is close of business on Friday, February 5.
If your Member of Congress is interested in signing on to the letter, have them reach out to Will Mitchell (202-225-6211) in Rep. Rick Nolan's office or Rebecca Shaw (202-225-5614) in Rep. Chris Gibson's office.

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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at acampbell@n4a.org and Amy Gotwals at agotwals@n4a.org

Read this n4a Advocacy Alert in a PDF.

USAging Fact: Learn about your peers’ work—and how it can fit into your agency’s goals! The AIA Awards recognizes successful and innovative programs that USAging members have developed to serve older adults. Get inspiration from our 2023 winners!