[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book II)]
[October 8, 1998]
[Pages 1768-1769]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Letter to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Urging Reauthorization of 
the Older Americans Act
October 8, 1998

Dear Senator Lott:
    I am writing to urge you to pass legislation to reauthorize the 
Older Americans Act (OAA) before the Congress adjourns this year. 
Failure to do so will call into question our nation's commitment to the 
Act and the vital services it provides to millions of older Americans. 
Legislation to reauthorize the OAA has gained an impressive degree of 
bipartisan support. In fact, the legislation proposed by Senator McCain 
and Senator Mikulski is cosponsored by more than 60 Senators.
    The OAA is receiving broad support because it has played such an 
important role in responding to the diverse needs of our nation's 
seniors. It provides more than 100 million meals to nearly one million 
vulnerable seniors each year through its meals-on-wheels program; it 
finances and supports an ombudsman program that helps resolve tens of 
thousands of problems, including abuse and neglect, affecting nursing 
home residents and other vulnerable populations; it provides job 
training for seniors who need or want to work; and, in many communities, 
it provides the type of adult day care that gives families a much needed 
respite from caregiving responsibilities.
    These programs are essential to ensuring that our nation's seniors 
can maintain their independence. Sometimes a few basic services or

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programs, such as adult day care or adequate nutrition, are all that is 
necessary to allow seniors with limited resources to continue living in 
their homes and communities. Without the OAA, too many older Americans 
would have no choice but to turn to long-term care facilities to get the 
help they need. This harms those who would like to remain in their 
communities, significantly draining our nation's limited resources.
    No political party gains--and all Americans lose--when we fail to 
work together to pass a bipartisan reauthorization of the OAA. I am 
committed to working with you to reauthorize this critically important 

                                                      William J. Clinton

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this letter.