Request a Meeting with Your Lawmakers in Washington D.C.

AIMBE makes it easy to request a Congressional appointment. Enter your name, address, email and zip code to access the draft meeting request email. Only you can request an appointment and this app makes it easy. Your Member of Congress and two Senators will be identified. The message requesting the meeting is simple and straightforward. Please edit the draft meeting invitation and send your message.

Congressional staff will contact you directly regarding your meeting that may be with the Member of Congress or their staff. Remember, meetings with staff are nearly as valuable as with the elected official so please confirm all appointments that are offered.

Washington DC Meeting Request

This is your letter to your Members of Congress. You will be able to change the text once you click “Proceed.”

As your constituent, I am writing to request an appointment to visit with you on INSERT DATE HERE while I am in Washington, D.C.

I would like to visit with you regarding federal investments in medical research. I know your schedule is challenging, and I am willing to arrange my schedule to meet with you briefly even if it is in the hall outside a congressional hearing room.

I look forward to your response and the opportunity to briefly visit with you.

Talking Points

How you introduce yourself to a lawmaker or their staff will set the stage for an effective visit. Here are the basics:

  1. Name, town, and years you’ve lived in district
  2. Occupation, what you do
  3. You are representing the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering as an elected Fellow of the Institute
  4. What are you asking them to consider (for example, providing long-term, consistent funding for NIH, NSF, DARPA that keeps up with biomedical inflation)
  5. Why should someone care about this topic and how does it relate to your research?

Next, share your story and connect it to the local community through your affiliation to a college, university, or local business. Stay focused on the core goals of your conversation and avoid off-topic or hot button issues like the Affordable Care Act. Provide a show-and-tell object but avoid a slideshow presentation. Your meeting will last no longer than 30 minutes, so be concise.

Last, but not least, volunteer to be a local resource. Legislators often set up advisory panels consisting of local experts to provide them with the “local view” on major policy issues. By volunteering to serve on these advisory groups, you will be in a central position to provide input.

Keep in Mind

Staff are Powerful

Never underestimate the influence of Congressional staffers. They are often young, but they have the ear of the Member of Congress. Additionally, don’t assume they understand biomedical research or the connection between research, innovation, jobs, and health and well-being.

Keep it Simple

Lawmakers and staff schedule dozens of meetings a day. If you focus your visit on statistics, it will be quickly forgotten. Paint a picture and they will remember it. Make it personal about how research saved a specific life or provide a personal antidote. Forget the facts and numbers – speak from your heart.

Avoid Partisanship

Keep complicated policy discussions out of the conversation. Don’t try to figure out how to balance the budget or come up with bipartisan solutions. Stick to your message and talking points.

Political Context

What to Expect:

  • Expect the visit to last between 15 and 25 minutes
  • Don’t be surprise to meet with young staff – they are the eyes and ears of lawmakers
  • Introduce yourself, exchange business cards and get a photo
  • This is not a meet-and-greet. Deliver a concise pitch about your work, why it should be federally funded, and how it may lead to positive outcomes for patients.
  • Get directly to your key points and make the ask: Restore the NIH medical research purchasing power with a $3 billion increase in FY21. Provide NSF with a total $9 billion to get back on track after years of stagnant funding.

Who Are We:

  • AIMBE is an honorific society of the most accomplished medical and biological engineers responsible for the innovation and discovery that improves health, lowers costs, and/or expands access.
  • Tell your personal story – a) why your work is critical, b) why discovery takes time and federal financial investment, c) relate your research to a discovery/cure.

Why Are We Here:

  • Budget cuts (and spending caps) are killing America’s leadership in innovation and discovery. American no longer one of the world’s most innovative countries.
  • Agencies including NIH, NSF, NIST, and other critical federal R&D initiatives are hurt when spending is cut or when spending isn’t restored to meet inflation
  • Thank you for a strong increase ($3 billion) to NIH in FY20. However, NIH buying power remains nearly 20% below a decade ago. Federal R&D as a percentage of GDP is at the lowest point since 1976. Today we spend $25 federal dollars on health care for sick Americans for every $1 spent on research to find a cure.
  • NSF drives innovation at 1,800 universities in all 50 states. NSF funds basic science increasing America’s competitiveness by translating invention into impact.
  • Research needs stable funding– not up-and-down, on-again, off-again. Uncertainty of funding hurts sustained, level-funding needs for research.

What is Our ASK:

  • Support NIH with $3 billion increase for FY21. Recent increases have still left medical research underfunded as the United States spend $25 to take care of Americans for every dollar to find a cure. Medical cures require consistent, steady and predictable funding.
  • America Needs Innovation From Basic Science The US is no longer among top most innovative countries. NSF funding for basic research directly impacts 386,000 research jobs and are responsible for 25% of fundamental research at US colleges and universities. NSF’s FY21 funding is critical to US research on artificial intelligence, machine learning and quantum computing.