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FYI Number 14: February 14, 2001

Congressional Calendar

In two weeks President Bush will send his preliminary FY 2002 budget request to Congress. This event will start the seven and one-half month budget cycle leading up to the start of the new fiscal year on October 1.

One of the most effective ways of communicating with your Members of Congress is by meeting with them in their Capitol Hill or local offices. This is an important part of a Member's duties, and most Members will welcome the opportunity to meet with you. Using the following calendar will help you in planning your visit.

The following are a few pointers about visiting with Members. Personal appointments are more likely with a representative than with a senator. Visits to a local office are apt to be easier: the Member will not have to work around committee and floor activity, your appointment is likely to be longer, and the atmosphere will be more familiar. A Member's visit to your university or laboratory can be very effective; many appointment schedulers actively seek such opportunities. Members are usually in Washington from Tuesday morning to Thursday evening. With this compressed work schedule, it is essential that you plan ahead by calling the appointments scheduler at least three to four weeks in advance, and preferably more. See our web site for further information on planning an effective visit at under "Communicating with Congress." You may also contact our office for a free copy of the "Communicating with Congress" brochure. We also have free copies of AIP's "Physics Success Stories" that are helpful background or "leave-behind" material for visits with Members; see our web site for ordering information.

The halls of the Senate and House office buildings are crowded with constituents who have come to meet with their representatives and senators, who will be making the decisions about President Bush's FY 2002 budget request, and a wide range of other issues. Republican and Democratic congressional and administration figures have long urged scientists to better communicate with their Members of Congress.

The announced dates of House and Senate recesses are:

February 19 - 26
April 9 - 23
May 28 - June 1
July 2 - 6
August 6 - September 4

President Bush will send his preliminary budget request to Congress at the end of February. The full budget will follow in early April. The new fiscal year begins on October 1. The target adjournment date is October 5.

Richard M. Jones
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3095

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