February 6, 2017 Advocacy Alert


Sign-On Opportunity for Local and State Organizations
Tell Lawmakers to Reject Federal Funding Cuts


This spring, Congress and the Administration will again face the challenge of tight overall federal budget caps as policymakers start the process of developing spending proposals for FY 2018. Because the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Agreement, which increased spending caps for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs—including for Older Americans Act and other aging programs—expires, overall funding levels could reset to the much tighter budget caps established in the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA).
 
What this means is that all federal programs risk further funding cuts unless Congress and the Administration agree to either eliminate BCA caps or reach another short-term budget agreement to provide temporary relief from deeper budget cuts. Such funding cuts could be across-the-board or limited to specific line items, but either way, FY 2018 will be NDD’s most challenging budget year yet.
 
NDD United, of which n4a is a member, is a coalition of hundreds of national, state and local organizations working to protect investments in core non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs that benefit all Americans. NDD United is currently circulating a sign-on letter requesting national, state and local organization signatures telling lawmakers to reject further cuts to NDD funding for critical programs, such as the Older Americans Act and other discretionary aging and health care programs.
 
n4a has signed on to this letter, and we encourage you and your provider networks to sign on as well! Note: The letter is intended only for organizations, not individuals. The deadline to sign on is Friday, February 10.
 
What’s Next for Federal Funding
 
As a reminder, and as we detailed in n4a’s January 3 Legislative Update, Congress will be in the unique position this spring of both finalizing funding for FY 2017 and concurrently developing FY 2018 federal spending proposals. FY 2017 funding extends only through April 28, and at that time, lawmakers will have to decide whether to pass full FY 17 appropriations bills, or to simply further extend FY 2016 funding until the end of FY 17 (known as a continuing resolution, or CR).
 
Simultaneously, appropriators on Capitol Hill will begin the process of developing funding proposals for FY 2018, which will be challenging because the current budget agreement offering relief from tighter overall budget caps expires at the end of FY 17.
 
At this point, we don’t know exactly what this means for OAA and other discretionary health and aging programs, but what we do know is that we will be very busy advocating for critical aging programs! Signing on to the NDD United letter is simply the first step in what is sure to be a very active spring! We hope your agency will consider also signing the NDD letter and echoing the request to your organizational stakeholders and provider networks.
 
Other Advocacy Action Items
 

Continue Contacting your Members of Congress!   

As we detailed in our January 26 Advocacy Alert, n4a has put together tools and resources that you can use to engage your lawmakers at the start of this new Congress and new Administration!

Schedule a Meeting/Visit During Recess!   

Members of Congress will be back in their districts and states from February 18-26. This is the perfect time to schedule a visit with your Representatives and Senators to educate them about the critical work that you do for their constituents! n4a will send more information later this week about opportunities and messaging for advocacy during recess, but reach out now to schedule a visit or meeting while Members are home! You can reach out to the local office or always use the U.S. Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 or send an email: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

Reminder: February 9 Advocacy Webinar and Aging Policy Briefing!

We hope you will join us on this Thursday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET for a webinar, Lobbying and Advocacy 101: Legal Tips for Nonprofit Advocates, hosted by the Alliance for Justice aimed at helping local nonprofit organizations better understand what lobbying is and why it is so important for nonprofit advocates. Register today

Also, we hope you will join us April 3-4 in DC for n4a’s annual Aging Policy Briefing & Capitol Hill Day. Not only will you be able to get the latest aging and health care policy updates directly from federal experts, but it is a great opportunity to visit your Members of Congress in DC.

Thank you for your advocacy on these important issues!  

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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