Congress Returns to DC with Frenetic Pace on Funding Bills
Lawmakers back in Washington this week after August recess wasted no time getting started on their lengthy list of fall must-do legislative items.
Both the House and Senate gained traction toward finalizing FY 2018 federal funding for many domestic priorities, including OAA and other aging programs. In the Senate, appropriators passed the Labor-HHS bill, which funds the Administration on Aging, in quick succession through the sub and full committees. In their Labor-HHS funding bill, Senators rejected the House-proposed elimination of SHIP and significant cuts to senior workforce development programs.
As far as we can tell, all other OAA programs were flat-funded at FY 2017 levels, which is a victory in this budget environment. In the House, leaders brought to the floor all 12 appropriations bills, including the Labor-HHS title. Next week we expect votes on two amendments that would increase funding for OAA Title III programs—specifically Title III B—to levels approved in last year's bipartisan OAA reauthorization. Aging advocates should continue reaching out to your Representatives to encourage them to support these two amendments!