John has a point, this is important and living in a democracy requires us to pay attention.
The House is expected to attempt to override the President’s veto of the Labor/HHS/Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043) possibly as early as this week. Two-thirds of each chamber must approve the bill in order for it to pass into law without the President’s support. For this to happen, Republicans would need to break ranks with the President.
Ø Call your Representative(s) today and tomorrow. You can reach any DC legislative office through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. It is particularly important that you reach out to Republicans — they hold the cards in this vote.
Ø Identify yourself, your agency if applicable, and where you are calling from in the state/district. Ask to leave a message for the Representative.
Ø Sample message: “Please vote in support of H.R. 3043, the Labor/HHS appropriations bill that provides our community with critical dollars to support older adults living independently at home, supports their family caregivers, and, in doing so, helps save the federal government Medicaid dollars which would otherwise go to nursing homes. There are modest increases for these home and community-based services for seniors in the bill and we ask the Congressman/woman to ensure that older adults in our community are able to continue living independently by overriding the President’s veto.”
Background & Talking Points
The Labor/HHS bill would provide $150.7 billion in discretionary spending, which is $6.2 billion above the fiscal 2007 level and $9.8 billion more than Bush proposed. President Bush vetoed the bill over his objection to this $9.8 billion difference.
The bill contains $63 million more for Older Americans Act programs and services under the Administration on Aging, roughly a 4.6 percent increase over last year.
It would also fund a wide range of social service, education and other critical federal support programs in addition to OAA, such as the Community Service Block Grant, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Social Services Block Grant, and many others.
If Congress cannot override the veto, they will have to either cut the bill to meet the President’s demands or another series of continuing resolutions (CRs) may continue to fund federal programs at last year’s levels.
To see how OAA is funded under the bill, n4a members can go here.