July 18, 2017 Advocacy Alert


Advocacy Needed TODAY!
Tell Lawmakers to Reject Cuts to Critical Aging Programs 

As last week’s n4a Legislative Update outlined, Members on the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over deciding annual funding levels for OAA and other important aging programs, approved their FY 2018 funding bill last week.
 
While we still don’t have complete details about funding levels for all OAA programs, we can confirm that the bill that moved through the Labor-HHS subcommittee on a party-line vote would eliminate the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and make significant cuts to both Elder Justice programs and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
 
The entire House Appropriations committee will consider the FY 2018 Labor-HHS funding bill on Wednesday, July 19, and we have only one day to urge lawmakers on that panel to reject any cuts to critical aging programs! We know that Representative David Price (D-NC) plans to offer an amendment in committee to restore funding for these programs to FY 2017 levels, but we need local advocates to weigh in with your lawmakers to encourage them to support increasing funding levels for these vital programs during the mark-up.
 
n4a recently sent a letter to all House Appropriators asking that they reject these harmful cuts, and now we need your advocacy to educate your Members of Congress about the important services that these programs support in your communities.
 
What You Can Do:
 

  • If Your Representative is a Member of the House Appropriations Committee:
    • Reach out and encourage your Representative to reject cuts to SHIP, Elder Justice and SCSEP programs and to support the amendment that will be offered by Representative Price to restore funding for these programs to FY 2017 levels. 

      Make sure your Representatives understand how SHIP, Elder Justice and SCSEP programs benefit older adults—their constituents—in your community. It is important to personalize this outreach. You can use n4a’s recent letter to House Appropriators as a template to craft your own outreach.
       
    • Ask your Representative to make a few supportive comments of these programs—particularly SHIP because it is at risk of being eliminated—during the House Appropriations Committee markup on Wednesday, July 19. It is imperative that Members speak up against these cuts, and YOU can help prepare them with talking points about how important SHIP, Elder Justice and SCSEP are in your communities. 
       
  • Even if Your Representative is NOT a Member of the House Appropriations Committee, ask him or her to reach out to colleagues on the committee—especially their Republican colleagues—to tell them to reject these cuts. It is important that as many Members as possible are weighing in against the proposed SHIP elimination and Elder Justice and SCSEP cuts. 

Timing is critical, so please reach out TODAY to your contacts in your Representative’s local and Washington, DC offices. You can find contact information for your Representatives at www.house.gov and use n4a’s FY 2018 Appropriations Campaign page to inform your advocacy

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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.