Congress last authorized the Older Americans Act in 2006. This authorization expired in 2011 and has yet to be reauthorized. In the past, OAA reauthorization has included extending the act’s authorization of appropriations for a five-year period. While Congress has continued to appropriate funding for OAA programs, leaving the Act unauthorized (and without a longer term authorization of appropriations), subjects them to spending cuts, creates a sense of instability for OAA programs and the older adults who depend on them, and sends a message that seniors are not a priority.
Members of Congress will be in their home districts during the month of August. This is a great time to reach out to your federal legislators and urge them to take action now and support S. 1562 – a bipartisan reauthorization of the Older Americans Act. Copy and paste this link into your browser to find out who your federal legislators are: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/waml/ (see links to House of Representatives and Senate). For additional talking points on OAA Reauthorization copy and paste the following link into your browser to see n4a’s latest Action Alert: http://www.n4a.org/pdf/Advocacy_Alert_6.27.14.pdf
Let’s make sure the 50th Anniversary (7/14/15) of the Older Americans Act is really one to celebrate!