March 18, 2020 Advocacy Alert
Urge Senators to Support Emergency
Funding for OAA!
Call Your Senators and Ask Them to Support Coronavirus
Relief Bill for Seniors and People with Disabilities
March 18, 2020
While the nation faces unprecedented upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic, aging champions in Congress are urgently advocating to get emergency funding to Aging Network agencies and programs that are on the front lines of ensuring that older Americans and their caregivers have the services necessary to stay healthy. Senate and House lawmakers are moving rapidly to pass broad economic relief bills, and n4a is working furiously to ensure that emergency funding for the Aging Network is included in these packages.
Within the next day, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), the lead Democrat on the Senate Aging Committee, is expected to introduce the Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act, legislation that would provide resources to help local agencies meet many of these pressing needs. This bill would send nearly $2.9 billion in flexible funding for core OAA programs to the Aging Network.
The legislation, which n4a has strongly endorsed, includes $1 billion for Title III B Supportive Services, $1.65 billion for Title III C2 home-delivered nutrition services, $185 million for Title III E Family Caregiver Supports and nearly $16 million for long-term care ombudsman services. Funding included in this bill would be available for expenditures through FY 2021 and would provide local agencies with a great deal of flexibility to meet the needs of both older adults and people with disabilities who may also require assistance during this crisis. The bill builds upon the $250 million for OAA nutrition services included in the second COVID-19 emergency funding bill (H.R. 6201) that we expect the Senate to pass this week.
We know Aging Network advocates are inundated right now and may have very little time for advocacy. However, because lawmakers are moving so quickly, please take just a moment TODAY to reach out to your Senators to urge them to support Senator Casey’s bill as part of a third emergency funding package that the Senate and House will consider in the coming days.
Senator Casey plans to introduce the Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act as soon as tomorrow, so outreach is essential today.
→Call your Senators and ask them to support emergency funding for vital home and community-based services, caregiver supports and nutrition services for older adults affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find the number on your Senator’s website.
Use the following script in your conversation, but most importantly make sure to tell them why this funding is so important or older adults and caregivers in your community.
On behalf of [name of your agency] in [your community], we are funded through the federal Older Americans Act and provide vital services and supports that enable older adults and their caregivers to age with health and dignity in their homes. The critical services that we provide to [Senator’s] older constituents are needed even more urgently as many older Americans nationwide are being urged to stay at home and self-quarantine as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.
Emergency funding for [name of your agency] and Area Agencies on Aging and Native American aging programs across the country will be critical as we urgently work to meet the changing and increasing needs of seniors in the wake of this pandemic.
We urge [Senator] to support emergency funding for vital Older Americans Act nutrition, caregiver and supportive services included in Senator Bob Casey’s Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act, which he is expected to introduce this week. We hope [Senator] will urge Senate leadership and colleagues to include emergency funding for services supporting older Americans in the next round of emergency funding legislation.
→If you can, ask other advocates to do the same! Urge colleagues, advisory board members, volunteers and clients to make calls to Senators, as well. We have an incredibly short window of opportunity, so your immediate action is urgently needed!
Also, stay tuned for Aging Network updates about the coronavirus response and resources on n4a’s COVID-19 resource page.
If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or n4a’s policy positions, please contact Autumn Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org and Amy Gotwals at email@example.com.