Public Policy Priorities for the 118th Congress

This report outlines Generations United's legislative priorities for the 118th Congress.

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Generations United’s policy work is designed to engage advocates for children, youth and older adults as joint partners in improving the lifetime well-being of all people and to improve the lives and wellbeing of children, youth, older adults and the families that care for them through effective policies in the Federal government. Generations United and our members recognize that older adults, people with disabilities, and children do not live in silos. They are interdependent. They live in families and communities. Policy changes that eliminate or reduce critical benefits, supports, and services of family members, caregivers, and neighbors negatively impact the children, youth, older adults, and people with disabilities that they live with, support, and care for. Likewise, smart investments in people of one generation reap benefits for those in other generations in the form of a stronger workforce and by ensuring quality of life and well-being. They will make America more competitive and help achieve fiscal sustainability. If we neglect thoughtful investments across the lifespan and abandon support for the growing interdependence of generations, we risk failure in the form of wasteful spending, increased public divisiveness, and policies injurious to American families and communities.

While we continue to address immediate challenges and lay the groundwork for long-term stability, we must engage in a respective and ongoing discussion about the changing demographics of our nation and acknowledge our racist history and ongoing systemic racism. To be effective in our work, we are committed to using a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) lens that recognizes collective and individual cultures, values, norms, ages, and lived experiences. As the baby boomer generation ages and new immigrant and racial/ethnic minority populations grow, we must continue to ensure that we support our most vulnerable populations- regardless of their age or background. This includes authentically engaging and supporting the voices of individuals of all ages with diverse life experiences to inform our efforts. We also must recognize and remove policies that are harmful to Black, Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native and other people of color. We must promote availability and access to culturally appropriate services. Programs and opportunities to foster intergenerational cross-cultural contacts will promote better understanding across the demographic spectrums, as well as provide tangible benefits for our nation’s ability to care for and protect all of its people.

Generations United’s legislative priorities are divided into three tiers: Leadership, Partnership, and Support. Issues in the first-tier leadership category will receive the highest possible attention where appropriate and feasible. We will advocate for these priorities before Congress and the Administration, organize and participate in Hill visits and other public education activities, initiate sign-on letters, and host briefings. For the second-tier, Generations Untied recognizes that some issues are best addressed in partnership with other entities or with Generations United following the lead of other such entities. In the partnership category, Generations United will partner with coalitions and leverage our networks to achieve our goals. We will monitor legislation and offer intergenerational language and communication tools for our membership and networks to use in their advocacy efforts on these issues. For the third-tier category, support, Generations United will support these issues by signing onto relevant letters and sharing information with our networks through policy alerts, social media and other communications. While this agenda was created to represent current key intergenerational issues of concern to Generations United and our members, we maintain the flexibility to support additional priorities as approved by Generations United’s Public Policy Protocol, which is guided by the intergenerational policy principles and Generations United’s Public Policy Committee, Board of Directors, and policy staff.