By Adam Mehlenbacher, Kate Thomas, and Kitty Werner This article is a part of the January/February 2017, Volume 29, Number 1, Audiology Today issue. For the better part of two years, the 2016 presidential election has captured the nation’s attention and dominated the local, state, and national news. Now that the dust has settled from this election, it’s time for the Academy to identify and pursue our legislative and regulatory priorities for the upcoming year. In addition to a new Presidential Administration, the 115th Congress will begin on January 3, 2017. As policymakers move into new roles, now is the time for the audiology community to jump into action. No matter what personal feelings we may have about the outcomes of this election cycle, we can coalesce around the potential for opportunity that comes with any new Congress and administration. The leadership of the Academy and the Government Relations Committee (GRC) will be poised to set forth an agenda to represent the interests of its members. The membership, too, can be ready to get involved at many levels. Setting Priorities Setting the agenda for working with the 115th Congress and the new administration necessitates consideration of various questions. What items, within our current list of priorities, do we want to continue to address? What new priorities are feasible to address in the current political climate? What other topics in health care are on the horizon? What is the timeline for action? Who can be our partners and champions? To guide us in answering some of those questions, we need to align our legislative and regulatory priorities with the strategic priorities of the Academy enterprise. The enterprise consists of the Academy, the Accreditation Commission for Audiology Education (ACAE), the American Board of Audiology (ABA), and the Student Academy of Audiology (SAA). The Academy leadership recently engaged all of these groups in a visioning session that will inform the development of a common agenda and support the Academy’s advocacy-related committees in setting and advancing our policy agenda. Guided by the visioning session, the GRC has been focused on making recommendations regarding the legislative agenda for the new Congress. This includes assessing bills that did not pass in the 114th Congress that must be reconsidered and reintroduced in the 115th Congress. This also includes identifying other priority issues important to our audiologist members and our partners in the Academy enterprise, such as over-the-counter hearing aid legislation, student-loan forgiveness and telehealth. As the GRC finalizes the legislative agenda for the upcoming two-year congressional session, this information will be communicated to Academy members via the Academy’s website, including our Legislative Action Center and Government Relations News page, through updates in the Audiology Weekly E-Newsletter, and through additional articles in Audiology Today. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!