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Tips for Meeting with Members of Congress

Use our tips for meeting with your members of Congress to successfully advocate for biological and biomedical research.

  • Introduce yourself (and meeting participants)
    • Briefly provide your background information and mention that you are a constituent
  • Tell a personal story 
    • Quickly summarize the topic of your research
    • If you receive federal funding, note the agency that supports your research and the specific disease or condition it’s related to
    • Provide examples of new opportunities to expand your area of research and what impact it may have on science and individuals
  • Share what you (or members of your field) hope to accomplish with your research
    • Explain how your area of research improves health, produces new knowledge, creates jobs or supports the local economy
  • Share the impact of federal funding on your state and district
  • Acknowledge the legislator’s previous support of federal funding for research
  • Make the “ask”
  • Close the meeting
    • Repeat your “ask”
    • Thank the person for meeting with you
    • Leave your contact information  (phone, email, mailing address)
    • Encourage your legislator (and/or their aides) to visit your lab

Talking Points for Meetings with Members of Congress

Updated August 2017

  • I urge Congress to agree on a bipartisan deal to raise the Budget Control Act spending caps for fiscal year (FY) 2018 before September 30th

  • The FY 2018 budget cap for non-defense discretionary programs – those that fund biomedical and scientific research – is $5 billion below the FY 2017 level

  • In the absence of an agreement to adjust the FY 2018 spending cap, it will be impossible for the Appropriations Committee to provide increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), etc.

    • Even cutting funding for other agencies will not provide enough money to increase funding for NIH

  • Stable, sustained growth is essential for a healthy scientific enterprise
    • Science requires long-term support in order to produce new knowledge, innovations, cures, train the next generation of scientists, etc.
    • Inadequate funding impedes the ability of agencies to support new grants, creates uncertainty for researchers, disrupts planning for large-scale research projects, and limits career opportunities for younger researchers
  • The uncertainty created by a continuing resolution (CR) that lasts longer than a few months would be very harmful to the biomedical science enterprise
    • A CR would lead to the withholding of research funds and the freezing of new projects and initiatives
  • Although I understand that a short-term CR is necessary to keep federal agencies open beyond September 30, I urge you to work with your colleagues to pass a FY 2018 omnibus appropriations bill later this fall