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Rep. Courtney Votes to Pass the Older Americans Act

October 28, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), voted to pass the Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334), bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA). H.R. 4334 increases funding for vital programs that help aging Americans live independently and with dignity. Rep. Courtney and his colleagues on the House Education and Labor Committee voted to approve the Dignity in Aging Act in September.

“The population of Americans aged 60 and over is growing nationwide, and Eastern Connecticut is home to a large number of those seniors,” said Congressman Courtney. “With passage of the Dignity In Aging Act today, the House voted to support our senior citizens, and to make sure that funding for the OAA programs they rely on is able to keep up as the senior population continues to grow. Our bipartisan bill takes major steps to increase funding for our communities’ senior centers, and for OAA programs that support aging Americans from all walks of life – from seniors who require help accessing nutrition, to grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren. I was glad to help pass the Dignity In Aging Act in the House today, especially with the groundbreaking for our new senior center in Willimantic on the horizon.”

The OAA originally passed in 1965, and is the primary legislation that covers social and nutrition services for older Americans and their caregivers. The Dignity in Aging Act responds to the challenges facing a growing generation of aging Americans by providing a 35 percent total increase in program funding for OAA over five years.

The Dignity in Aging Act responds to the challenges facing a growing generation of aging Americans. The bill:

• Authorizes a 7 percent funding increase for OAA programs in the first year, then annual 6 percent increases in the following years;

• Establishes a National Research, Demonstration, and Evaluation Center for the Aging Network in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of HHS;

• Creates an initiative to coordinate federal resources to promote the independence and safety of adults living at home as they age;

• Provides more tailored support to family caregivers who play a vital role in helping aging Americans maintain their independence; and

• Puts a stronger focus on addressing social isolation among seniors by empowering local organizations to test local solutions.

The Dignity in Aging Act fact sheet is available here.