House Reaffirms Support for Aging Programs that Help Millions of Older Americans
n4a is pleased to announce that today the House approved a bipartisan amendment to the Senate-passed Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192)!
The amendment passed by voice vote under suspension of the rules, a procedure reserved for non-controversial legislation. Passage of this amendment poises OAA reauthorization to move through the final legislative stages toward becoming law!
n4a has worked tirelessly over the past five years with OAA leaders in both chambers and parties, their staff, other national advocates and our members to achieve this legislative victory. We applaud the relentless efforts of both Democrats and Republicans on the House Education and Workforce Committee to work through the issues necessary to achieve House passage and ultimately to approve a three-year reauthorization bill that will provide stability for OAA programs through 2019. (Please see n4a's recent Advocacy Alert for details on the House-passed amendment to the Senate compromise bill, which has n4a's support.)
In a statement about today's achievement, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood said, “We very much appreciate the commitment of leaders in the House to build upon the bipartisan Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192) passed by the Senate last July. We appreciate the hard work that Democrats and Republicans in the House did to ensure that changes to the Senate bill were modest and ultimately preserved the bipartisan compromise of S.192. To see an OAA reauthorization package move through the House is a thrilling milestone that puts us much closer to ensuring that OAA programs will continue to support older adults aging in place and remain living independently in their homes and communities for as long as possible. n4a members work on the front lines of aging every day, providing a broad range of services and supports and doing their part to realize the vision of the Older Americans Act in communities all across the country. We look forward to now working with Senate leaders to ensure that the House-passed changes to the bill are quickly approved and sent to the President to sign OAA reauthorization into law.”
n4a members should drive thank-you calls and emails to their House offices this week! n4a particularly thanks the leadership group who worked together to achieve the bipartisan compromise measure that passed today: House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA).
While this is a critical step and a major milestone, the Senate must now approve the changes that were included in the House bill. Our expectation is that these changes will be approved expeditiously in April following the Senate's spring recess. Senate approval of the House amendment would then send the full bill to the President to sign!