June 21, 2022 Advocacy Alert



 
FY 2023 OAA Funding Demands Attention!

Push Your Representatives for STRONG Funding Levels

 
Congress is back in session and Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee are getting ready to vote on spending limits for programs critical to the older adults and caregivers you serve.

Congress failed to reach consensus on overall FY 2023 budget numbers in the last round of bipartisan, bicameral negotiations—an expected but nevertheless disappointing result. To keep the trains moving, House Democrats unveiled their initial proposal of $1.6 trillion in spending for defense and non-defense discretionary programs, which is roughly on par with the President’s proposed FY 2023 budget. Since final spending bills will require bipartisan support, we must secure the highest possible levels for our programs in the House Democratic bills before negotiations begin. That’s why we need all hands on deck to push for the highest possible spending levels to support older adults and caregivers!

In our outreach, USAging is elevating the innovative ways you have met relentless demand for your services from growing numbers of older adults and caregivers who have increasingly complex needs. But we need to do more— and we need your continued advocacy to lead that charge!

We must ensure that FY 2023 appropriations figures reflect the ONGOING and GROWING need to sustain and expand the life-saving innovations you have developed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Appropriators must understand the incredible work you have done, why it matters to the health and independence of their constituents—and that this work needs to be funded.

We are calling on all AAAs, Title VI Native American Aging Programs and all your local allies to raise your voices in support of Older Americans Act funding today! If you took action when we first began this year’s appropriations campaign in March, great—what can you do next to make sure your Members of Congress are fighting for OAA? We have a few ideas below. If you haven’t taken action yet, it’s not too late, but act swiftly!

Take Action Now!

It is imperative that all Senators and Representatives hear from their OAA champions in their state/district and constituents who benefit from the OAA programs and services that your agency delivers. Since the action is primarily in the House over the next two weeks, it is critical to connect with your Representative and/or the Representatives that serve your PSA, especially if they sit on the House Appropriations Committee / Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee. If your Representative doesn’t sit on those committees, make sure to urge them to share their support with their colleagues who do!

STEP 1: Visit USAging’s FY 2023 Appropriations Campaign Page to assist your efforts. Our resources include everything you need to take action.
  • Updated grassroots template letters (AAA and Title VI versions)
  • Current appropriations chart
  • USAging appropriations request letter to Congress
  • 2022 USAging Policy Priorities

It is important that you take the time to localize your request. Explain what increased OAA funding would mean for the older adults and caregivers in your community, tribe or state.

STEP 2: Make Your Support for Boosted OAA Funding Public. Don’t allow older adults, caregivers and your volunteers/workforce get lost in the onslaught of news. Promote your story, elevate THEIR stories! Email or post a short note to lawmakers on social media. Members monitor their email/website traffic for constituent correspondence, and personal messages resonate most.

STEP 3: Engage Your Provider Network. Enlist fellow advocates! Urge your providers, advisory council members and other important stakeholders to send their own letters to Congress or post to social media. Please do all you can to amplify the message and engage others who understand the value of OAA in their community! You’re welcome to forward this Alert to your networks or edit it to be best received by your advocates.

We are running out of time, so we need all AAAs, Title VI Native American Aging Programs and local allies to raise your voices in support of Older Americans Act funding. We must ensure that all Members of Congress know how important increased, stable, federal funding for OAA is to promote the health, well-being and independence of their older constituents and those who care for them.

Stay tuned for more updates from USAging and as always, we thank you for your advocacy! 

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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.