March 3, 2020 Advocacy Alert



Help Push for OAA Funding Increases!

Call Your Representatives TODAY and Ask Them to Sign on to the Bipartisan OAA Letter

March 3, 2020

It’s the start of appropriations season, which means that it’s time for n4a and aging policy advocates to start encouraging Congress to make much-needed funding boosts to critical OAA programs and services when making decisions about FY 2021 spending.
 
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), a committed congressional champion for Older Americans Act and other critical aging programs, is, as she has in the past, circulating a letter to her fellow Representatives requesting their signatures in support of a request to House Appropriations Committee leaders to increase funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III programs in FY 2021.
 
This is an exciting bipartisan effort, as Representatives Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) have again joined Congresswoman Bonamici in rallying their colleagues to support increased OAA funding!  
 
This is one of the first advocacy opportunities in the FY 2021 appropriations process that determines what next year’s OAA funding will be. This letter will be one of thousands sent to the Appropriations Committee’s leaders asking for particular funding levels for thousands of federal discretionary programs. That’s why we need your support to drive signatures to the OAA letter, so appropriators notice the bipartisan support for these vital programs!
The letter specifically asks for increased funding for OAA Title III B Supportive Services, Title III C Nutrition and Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program. It urges appropriators to, at a minimum, invest in these programs at funding levels that are reflected in the bipartisan OAA reauthorization proposal, Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, H.R. 4334.
 
This funding request complements n4a’s FY 2021 OAA appropriations priorities on OAA Title III programs, specifically III B and III E. Implementing the increases recommended in this letter would be an important step toward restoring the capacity of the programs lost to stagnant funding and a growing population.
 
We need you to take action to urge your Representatives to sign on to this letter to ensure that it receives the strong support needed for the Subcommittee to take this request seriously. But we only have one week!
 
Members’ signatures are due by close of business on Monday, March 9, so please do your outreach ASAP, then spread the word in your community to drive more calls through next Monday!
 

Action Requested:
 
→Call your Representatives for your Representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter circulated by Reps. Bonamici, Stefanik, Deutch and Loebsack on OAA funding. Even if you know that this will be a difficult request for your Representative, please do this outreach anyway. It’s vital that all Representatives understand how critical OAA funding is to older adults and caregivers!
 
STEP 1: Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act and/or Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) appropriations issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 or find the number on your Member’s website.

STEP 2: Tell them about the Bipartisan Bonamici OAA Dear Colleague letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it. If your Representative has already signed on to the letter, please thank them and urge them to encourage their House colleagues to sign on as well!

STEP 3: If your Representative has not signed on to the letter yet, let them know exactly why you want your Member to support this bipartisan funding request for vital OAA programs. Give local statistics that demonstrate the need for an increase in OAA funding. If they ask for a staff contact for Rep. Bonamici, tell them to phone Jack Arriaga at 202.225.0855.
The deadline for signatures is Monday, MARCH 9.

→Ask other advocates to do the same! Urge colleagues, advisory board members, volunteers and clients to make calls to their Representatives, as well. We have a short window of opportunity, so we need you and your colleagues to act fast on this particular request!
In the coming weeks, n4a will launch our annual appropriations campaign for FY 2021, with new grassroots tools to help us make the case for OAA, so stay tuned! Also, you can get the latest about OAA and other aging program funding and policy updates—and urge your elected officials to increase support for these programs—at the upcoming n4a Aging Policy Briefing & Capitol Hill Day, March 17-18 in Washington, DC!
 
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.