Don’t Let OAA Reauthorization Stall:
Urge Your Senators to Adopt the House-Passed Bill!
November 13, 2019
Despite recent House action to approve the Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334)—a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act—time is running short to move a bill through the Senate approval process and onto the President’s desk by the end of 2019! Congress’ remaining days in session are numbered and filled with other pressing matters. Yet n4a believes it’s important to finalize OAA reauthorization before the end of the year, as there are many challenges with moving legislation during a presidential election year.
The best opportunity to see an OAA reauthorization bill signed into law in 2019 is for the Senate to approve the bipartisan House bill, H.R. 4334.
n4a endorsed the Dignity in Aging Act, H.R. 4334, as did dozens of other national aging advocacy organizations. After enthusiastic, unanimous approval in the House on October 28, we believe the most practical path forward is for the Senate to approve this strong reauthorization legislation, sending it to the White House for the President’s signature. Many of the provisions in H.R. 4334 were informed by, and adopted from, provisions that were in the Senate draft bill, circulated in June, which means this process has already been bicameral.
However, engagement from local aging advocates will be essential to getting 2019 OAA reauthorization legislation over the finish line! Contact your Senators TODAY to urge them to bring the House-passed bill to the Senate floor!
- Urge your Senators to pass the Dignity in Aging Act, H.R. 4334, in the Senate. NOTE: Outreach is especially important if your Senator serves on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which has jurisdiction over OAA reauthorization, and/or the Aging Committee, which has served a leading role in the Senate process.
- CALL: The Capitol Switchboard (202.224.3121) can connect you to your lawmakers’ DC offices. Let them know why reauthorizing the OAA via the Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334) is important to the older adults and caregivers in their districts. Include a short data point or story about the value of local OAA services and the needs in your community.
- EMAIL: Express your support for H.R. 4334 in an email via your Senator’s website.
- Find their websites at https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact.
- Engage your grassroots network! Alert them via email, social media or other advocacy channels that we need the Senate to act on OAA reauthorization! The more calls or emails about OAA your Senators receive, the more engaged they will be.
- Use n4a’s OAA Advocacy Toolkit to Assist Your Efforts.
While we remain optimistic about the prospects for OAA reauthorization, we may lose the current momentum and window of opportunity to reauthorize the Act if the process continues through the holidays and into 2020. To reach the finish line this year, local advocates must act!