March 22, 2016 Advocacy Alert
OAA House Passage Follow-Ups
Please Thank Your Representatives!
We were thrilled to see that an agreement between House majority and minority leaders on the House Education and Workforce Committee meant that the House’s version of the Senate-passed S. 192 Older Americans Act (OAA) reauthorization bill also passed the House this week! n4a’s endorsed the House measure, which you can learn more about in n4a’s recent Advocacy Alert.
This bipartisan compromise and House passage now means that the Senate must approve the House changes before the bill can be sent to the President. However, it is important to take a few minutes to thank your Representatives for supporting the House Amendment to S. 192. The measure that passed the House on March 21 passed by voice vote “under suspension of the rules,” which is a method reserved for non-controversial legislation. This means that there was no roll-call vote recorded—and essentially every Member in the House chamber at the time supported passage by not voting “no.”
If you haven’t contacted your Representatives already—and we know many advocates have—it is important that you and your local advocacy networks reach out with messages of thanks to the House for several reasons:
- It keeps up the visibility of the great work that your agency and the Aging Network do to serve millions of seniors and caregivers every year! We are thrilled that OAA passed the House this week, but every week you work to provide essential services to older adults in your community. It is important to let Members know that OAA is important today and every day.
- It is an opportunity to thank Congress for their good work before continued requests. Very soon we are going to ask you to advocate for increased funding for OAA programs for FY 2017, and it is important to recognize the good work lawmakers just did with reauthorization before we go back to the well to ask for funding increases.
- Contact all Representatives serving your PSA and say “Thank You” for supporting OAA in the House this week!
- STEP 1: Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act issues. You can reach them through the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121.
- STEP 2: Tell them you appreciate their support of the House version of S. 192 that passed by voice vote on March 21. If your Representative serves as a Member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, which is the committee that has jurisdiction over OAA, please give him or her an extra nod for supporting a bipartisan compromise bill.
- STEP 3: If you prefer to contact offices and staff by email, consider using a template that n4a has provided, but make sure personalize the email with information about your local agency and the seniors you serve in the Congressional district.
- Ask other advocates to do the same! Urge your vendors/providers, advisory board members, volunteers and clients to make thank you calls to their Representatives, as well. Please do all you can to amplify the message and engage others who understand the value of OAA in their community!