April 11, 2022 Advocacy Alert



 
Urge Lawmakers to Increase OAA Funding!

Call Your Representatives TODAY and Urge Them to SIGN ON to the BIpartisan OAA Funding Letter!

Once again, Older Americans Act (OAA) champion Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (DOR) is coming out in full force to support critical OAA funding increases! In a just-released letter to her fellow Representatives, Rep. Bonamici is asking for the support of her colleagues in a request to House Appropriations Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee leaders that is in line with USAging’s request to double FY 2023 funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III programs. Showcasing bipartisan support for older adults to age independently at home, Rep. Bonamici is joined by Representatives Elise Stefanik (RNY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and John Katko (R-NY) in rallying their colleagues to patron this effort.

Disappointingly stagnant funding levels allocated in FY 2022 coupled with waning emergency funds that provided immediate relief during the enduring pandemic are increasingly painting a dire picture for older adults wishing to age in their homes and communities. The Aging Network is anticipating potentially drastic service cliffs as it continues to serve growing numbers of older adults in need. It’s way past time for Congress to address the critical funding necessary to sustain these much-needed services for the long term.

Your persistent advocacy is vital to the FY 2023 annual appropriations process and will help determine next year’s OAA funding. Rep. Bonamici’s sign-on letter will be just one of thousands sent to Appropriations Committee leaders asking for particular funding levels for thousands of federal discretionary programs. More than ever, we need you to contact your Representative NOW and drive signatures to the OAA letter—so appropriators recognize the BIPARTISAN support that already exists for boosting funding for these essential programs!
 

The letter specifically asks for significantly increased funding for OAA Title III B Supportive Services, Title III C Nutrition, Title III D Evidence-Based Health Promotion and Prevention Programs and Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program. The necessary investments recommended in this letter will ensure your agency can continue to provide older adults and their caregivers critical access to services past the pandemic while accommodating both the growing demand for these services and demographic growth of an aging America.

Urge your Representatives to sign on to this letter to ensure that it receives the strong support needed for the Subcommittee to take this request seriously.

Members’ signatures are due by close of business on Friday, April 22, so please do your outreach TODAY, then spread the word in your community to drive more calls!!!


Action Requested:

Call your Representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter circulated by Reps. Bonamici, Stefanik, Deutch and Katko on OAA funding. Even if you know enough about your Member’s voting history to understand your request is not an easy one, please do this outreach anyway. It’s vital that all Representatives understand how critical OAA funding is to older adults and caregivers!
  • STEP 1: Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act or appropriations issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find the number on your Member’s website.
  • STEP 2: Tell them about the bipartisan Bonamici-Stefanik OAA Dear Colleague letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it.
  • STEP 3: Let them know exactly why you want your Member to sign on to the OAA letter. Give local statistics that demonstrate the need for an increase in OAA funding and make sure to highlight the growing demand for services in your community. If they ask for a staff contact for Rep. Bonamici, tell them to contact Andrew Dunn at Andrew.Dunn@mail.house.gov.
The deadline for signatures is Friday, April 22.

Ask other advocates to do the same! Urge colleagues, advisory board members, volunteers and clients to make calls to their Representatives, as well. We have a very short window of opportunity, so we need you and your colleagues to act fast on this particular request! 

 
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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact Amy Gotwals at agotwals@usaging.org and Monica Billger at mbillger@usaging.org.


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 2021 winners.