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Older Americans Act Reauthorization
Approved By Senate HELP Committee

Compromise Reached on Funding Formula Issues

January 28, 2015
n4a is pleased to announce that the Older Americans Act reauthorization has cleared a critical hurdle in the legislative process. Today, members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) unanimously approved S. 192 and cleared it for floor consideration. (Please see past n4a Legislative Updates for details on this bipartisan compromise bill, which has n4a’s support.)

Committee members were able to resolve long-standing dissent over the OAA funding formula that stymied progress in the last congress. Committee approval positions Older Americans Act reauthorization to be cleared by the full Senate as one of the early pieces of legislation in the new Congress. This is a great step forward.

In a statement about today’s progress, n4a CEO Sandy Markwood said, “Passage of the Older Americans Act Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 192) by the Senate HELP Committee puts us one step closer to ensuring that older adults can age in place and remain independent in their homes and communities for as long as possible. n4a’s members work on the front lines of aging every day, doing their part to realize the vision of the Older Americans Act in communities all across the country, and we appreciate this swift and sensible action early in the new 114th Congress. We look forward to working toward full Senate passage and House consideration of this legislation.”

n4a members with Senators on the HELP Committee should drive thank-you calls and emails to their offices this week. n4a particularly thanks the leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Ranking Minority Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Richard Burr (R-NC), who shepherded the committee through a years-long policy process and sponsored the eventual compromise bill. Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have also signed on as co-sponsors of the current bill.
 
While we can certainly celebrate this critical step, our work to reauthorize OAA is far from done! Now we will need to focus on approval from the full Senate—stay tuned for more, as we develop strategy for the Senate floor vote. We also need to get OAA reauthorization through the House. n4a will be quickly pivoting our efforts to meet those challenges, and you can help by laying the groundwork with your Senators and Representatives.

If you have questions about this Advocacy Alert, please contact n4a’s Public Policy and Advocacy team, Amy Gotwals and Autumn Campbell at 202.872.0888 or agotwals@n4a.org and  acampbell@n4a.org.

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