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Bonamici-Led Bipartisan Update of Older Americans Act Moves to House Floor

September 18, 2019
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [05/18/19] Today the Education and Labor Committee approved bipartisan legislation led by Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), the Dignity in Aging Act, to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA).


H.R. 4334 will increase funding for vital programs that serve nearly 11 million aging Americans. Bonamici is Chair of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services, which has jurisdiction over OAA.


A video of Bonamici’s remarks in the committee can be found here.


“There is a vast unmet need in our communities, in Oregon and across the United States,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said in the committee. “Too many seniors go without the care they need and deserve – care that allows them to age with dignity... We have a moral obligation to take care of those who cared for us, and this is an opportunity to help fulfill that commitment.


“This bill contains many provisions that will greatly strengthen the programs and services in the Older Americans Act,” she continued. “I am confident that we can move this legislation through both chambers and have it signed into law, giving more seniors the care and services they need. The Dignity in Aging Act will significantly increase funding for popular programs that many Americans rely on, such as Meals on Wheels…


“We should remember that—even when this bill becomes law—our work will not be done. There is much more that we can and must do to fully meet the needs of all seniors and support often-marginalized populations, such as LGBT seniors, who are more likely to face barriers to services, less likely to have supportive families, and are truly of greatest need... This legislation is a strong starting point, and I look forward to working together to continue to build on the successes achieved in this bill, until no one remains under-served and no senior is left invisible.”


The Dignity in Aging Act is cosponsored by Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Susie Lee (NV-03), James Comer (KY-01), Susan Wild (PA-07) and Dusty Johnson (SD-at-Large). It has also received support and endorsement from:


  • Meals on Wheels
  • AARP
  • The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA)
  • Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA)
  • The Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM)
  • The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO)
  • The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A)
  • The National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs (NANASP)
  • The National Council on Aging (NCOA)
  • The Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)
  • Gerontological Society of America (GSA)


To read the fact sheet on the Older Americans Act (OAA), click here.


The Older Americans Act (OAA), originally passed in 1965, is the primary legislation that covers social and nutrition services for older Americans and their caregivers. Bonamici also played a lead role in the last reauthorization of OAA, which took place in 2016.