Member Alert! Tell the House Appropriations Committee to Restore Cuts to OAA and WIOA Programs, and LIHEAP

Last week the House Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee, which determines funding for a range of programs important to regional councils, adopted a fiscal year 2018 appropriations bill that would make significant cuts in funding to programs established under the Older Americans Act (OAA) and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as well as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Funding for LIHEAP would be reduced by $100 million, from $3.5 to $3.4 billion. Funding for WIOA programs would be reduced by nearly $245 million, from $2.9 to $2.6 billion.

We do not know the complete details about funding levels for all OAA programs. However we do know that the bill as adopted by the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee 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 fiscal year 2018 Labor-HHS funding bill TOMORROW, Wednesday, July 19, so we have only one day to urge lawmakers on that panel to reject any cuts to critical aging, workforce, and home energy assistance programs! We expect that several House members will offer amendments to restore these programs to fiscal year 2017 levels, but for these amendments to succeed we need local advocates like you to let your lawmakers know that you view funding for aging, workforce, and home energy assistance programs as critical.

Please contact your House member. And if he or she is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, ask him or her to support amendments that would increase funding levels for aging, workforce development, and low income energy assistance during mark-up tomorrow.

You can find a list of members of the House Appropriations Committee and their contact information below.

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, as well as workforce development and low-income home energy assistance programs by all amendments that would restore funding to fiscal year 2017 levels.
    • Let them know how important each of these programs are to your region and how your region benefits from the funding received.
    • Ask your Representative to make some supportive comments during the House Appropriations Committee markup about these programs.
  • Even if Your Representative is not a member of the House Appropriations Committee, ask him or her to reach out to his or her colleagues on the Committee—especially their Republican colleagues—to tell them to reject these cuts. It is important that as many Members as possible weigh in against the proposed cuts to OAA, WIOA, and LIHEAP programs.

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 Representative at www.house.gov and determine whether your Representative is a member of the House Appropriations Committee at https://appropriations.house.gov/about/members/.

If you have questions or concerns about this Alert, please contact Neil Bomberg at neil@narc.org or 202 618 6360.

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