March 12, 2018 Advocacy Alert
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) has again this year circulated a letter to her fellow Representatives requesting their signatures in support of a request to House Appropriations Labor/HHS/Education Subcommittee leaders to increase funding for Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III programs in FY 2019. She’s joined in this bipartisan effort by Representatives Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA) in rallying support from their colleagues.
This is one of the first advocacy opportunities in the FY 2019 annual appropriations process to determine 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—to make sure appropriators notice the bipartisan support for these vital programs!
The letter specifically asks for authorization-level funding for OAA Title III B Supportive Services, Title III C Nutrition and Title III E National Family Caregiver Support Program. This approach complements n4a’s FY 2019 OAA appropriations priorities on OAA Title III programs, specifically III B and III E. Authorization-level funding would provide the modest increases that Congress approved in the 2016 OAA reauthorization, which were bipartisan recommendations, but just recommendations. Now we need to make them reality.
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.
Members’ signatures are due by close of business tomorrow—Tuesday, March 13—weeks earlier than previous deadlines. Please conduct your outreach TODAY, then spread the word in your community to drive more calls tomorrow!
- Call your Representatives and ask them to sign on to the letter circulated by Reps. Bonamici, LoBiondo, Stefanik, Deutch and Loebsack on OAA funding. Even if you know enough about your Member’s voting history to understand your request is not an easy one, please do this outreach anyway. It’s vital that all Representatives understand how critical OAA funding is to older adults and caregivers!
- STEP 1: Check this list to see if your Representative(s) has already signed on to the letter. If his/her name isn’t on this list…
- STEP 2: Call the DC office and ask for the staff member who handles Older Americans Act or 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. (Since time is of the essence, call or fax your requests—emails won’t get noticed in time.)
- STEP 3: Tell them about the Bipartisan Bonamici-LoBiondo OAA Dear Colleague letter and offer to email them a link to the letter if they have not already seen it.
- STEP 4: Let them know exactly why you want your Member to sign on to the OAA letter. 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 TOMORROW, Tuesday, March 13.
In the coming weeks, n4a will be launching our annual appropriations campaign, with new grassroots tools to help us make the case for OAA, so stay tuned!