King, Bonamici Announce Establishment of Bipartisan Elder Justice Caucus

May 25, 2017 Issues: Consumer Protection, Seniors

Introduce Legislation to Reauthorize Elder Justice Act

WASHINGTON, DC [05/25/17] – Today Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) announced the establishment of a bipartisan Elder Justice Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Caucus will help to unify a voice in Congress by bringing together members with a shared interest in preventing elder abuse.

According to the American Journal of Public Health, at least 10 percent of older Americans experience elder abuse. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. It is estimated that victims of financial abuse lose at least $2.9 billion each year.  By 2060, there will be more than 98 million seniors – more than double the current senior population. With this unprecedented growth, it is critical that Congress work to protect seniors. 

The Caucus co-chairs introduced H.R. 2639, the Elder Justice Reauthorization Act. The legislation would extend through 2021 the Elder Justice Act of 2009 that authorized the establishment and coordination of federal resources to protect seniors from elder abuse, through the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, the Advisory Board on Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation, and grant funding streams to state and local entities. 

“I am proud to announce the formation of the Elder Justice Caucus during Older Americans Month,” said Rep. King. “Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced a form of elder abuse.  That is why we formed this bipartisan caucus – to bring together members of Congress with a shared interest in protecting our nation’s seniors from abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation.”

“Seniors deserve to retire and age with dignity,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “But too many seniors are at risk of physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Updating the Elder Justice Act will bolster the important work being done at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to protect the physical, emotional, and financial safety of older Americans. I want to thank my colleague, Rep. Peter King, for creating the Elder Justice Caucus, and I’m pleased to join him in introducing this important legislation to make seniors safer in their lives and communities.”

“The Elder Justice Coalition commends the creation of the new House bipartisan Elder Justice Caucus. It will provide an important new forum in the House to focus on issues and solutions related to the ever growing problem of elder abuse in America.  We salute the co-chairs of the Caucus, Rep. Peter King the stalwart in the House in the fight for elder justice and the House author of the landmark Elder Justice Act and Rep. Suzanne Bonamici who led the effort to get new elder abuse language in the 2016 Older Americans Act. They will be powerful and persuasive voices who are so needed at this time.”  said Bob Blancato, National Coordinator.

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