Members of Congress have extremely busy schedules that are constantly changing. It is important to be flexible. You may have to meet with staff.
It is important to keep the meeting focused on your issues. Be direct, but polite, about your issues and don’t let the Senator or Representative get too sidetracked.
ASK FOR SOMETHING
It is important that you make a specific request to your member. For example: “I need your co-sponsorship on this bill … I need you to support this legislation when it comes to the House or Senate floor.”
RELATE THE ISSUE HOME
Bringing the issue home is critical. Using an example of how the bill will affect your business or your state when at all possible is important. Members relate issues to specific things in their district and state.
YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING
If you do not know the answer to a specific question, offer to have NAHB staff follow up to provide additional information.
ASK FOR A RESPONSE
Always ask for a phone call or a letter as a follow-up on the decision by your Member of Congress. If you don’t hear from them in a few weeks, follow up with the member’s staff. There is almost always a staff member in every Hill meeting. Get their business card or their name.
THANK YOUR MEMBER
Since we are always asking our member for something, it is important to ask what you can do for them.
DON’T TALK ABOUT MONEY
Keep fundraising discussions separate. It is a federal offense to solicit campaign funds on federal property. Have those discussions back in the district out of a member’s office.
FOLLOW UP WITH NAHB
Take the time after any meeting with your member of Congress to give NAHB’s Legislative and Political Relations feedback on what was discussed and if the member committed to support any of the issues.