With the holiday season and year’s end upon us, we cannot over emphasize just how busy this December has been on the Hill. Traditionally, associations send their advocates to Washington in the spring to meet with congressional offices about their legislative and budget priorities, at a time when Congress is theoretically working through the budget process.
Of course, Washington tends to stick to the script less each year. This year, Congress has done some of its most consequential work in the months since returning after Labor Day. Congress has spent December working on tax reform, health care, and government funding. Legislators will likely be in the Capitol until the weekend before Christmas- and may be returning before New Year’s Eve.
According to a recent study by Dr. David Rehr, 66% of organizations are now hosting a DC Lobby Day. Lobby Days are an incredibly valuable advocacy tool, but not everyone can visit DC in the middle of March. If you want to save on hotel costs, make logistics easier, and make your Lobby Day message stand out, consider Lobby Days in September through December.
In many recent years, the pace of business has increased in November or December (as opposed to March or April), yet the hallways of the Capitol remain less crowded. With less competition for the valuable finite time of congressional offices, you may find your advocates’ words are more likely to be heard in autumn.
- By Jared Payne