IEEE-USA’s annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) will be held 17-18 March in Washington, D.C. IEEE members who are concerned about federal support for basic research, education and engineering are needed.
CVD participants will meet with their Legislators in Washington to discuss the federal budget. These meeting will allow IEEE members to explain to Congress why federal support for basic research is so important and how it impacts their local communities.
Meetings like these are the single best way to influence Congress.
CVD is structured to make your meetings as easy and effective as possible. Participants will meet on the morning of 17 March to discuss IEEE’s unique concerns about the budget, and for training on how to meet with legislators. They will then go up to Capitol Hill for a briefing underneath the U.S. Capitol (technically under the lawn behind the U.S. Capitol) for a comprehensive briefing on the federal budget, budget politics and the state of the FY2016 budget. A reception will follow this briefing.
Then on 18 March, CVD delegations will travel in groups up to Capitol Hill for meetings with your respective legislators and/or their staff. If you have never met your members of Congress before, this is the perfect time to do it. And if you have, this is the perfect time to renew old acquaintances.
CVD involves a coalition of science and engineering groups, all of whom will be traveling to Capitol Hill on 18 March with the same message: Congress needs to protect basic research budgets. Last year, more than 200 professionals participated, and 2015 promises to be even bigger.
Congress will begin working on the FY2016 budget in mid-February. It is expected that Congress will be under considerable pressure to cut funding for basic research. Non-discretionary parts of the budget (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, interest on the debt, etc.) keep going up each year, which leaves less money for everything else.
Basic research budgets have held roughly steady over the past several years, but they remain a tempting target for cuts.
All IEEE members in the United States are invited to participate in this year’s CVD. To register, go to https://www.ieeeusa.org/policy/cvd/. We especially need help from IEEE members outside of Virginia and Maryland.
If you have any questions about the CVD or any if IEEE-USA efforts in Washington, contact Russ Harrison at email@example.com.
Russell Harrison is IEEE-USA’s director of government relations.