FUN FACT: A Congressional tradition since 1971, August Recess was a time for lawmakers to escape Washington’s smoldering heat and humidity (no ventilation in the Capitol back then) and return home to focus on their other professions. It became a statutory requirement with the passage of the Legislation Reorganization of 1970.

August Recess is only two weeks away! For those of us in government relations and in the D.C. Metropolitan area, August provides a break from the everyday hustle and bustle of the political world, but for advocates around the country this is the perfect time to engage with Congressional offices in your own backyard.

During August Recess, Members of Congress visit their home state for some much-needed facetime with their constituents. 2020 is an election year meaning the recess period is especially important as Members ramp up their campaign efforts. Use this attention to engage with Members of Congress and their staff. Below are ideas on how to get involved:

Invite a Member of Congress to a We Honor Veterans Event
Federal lawmakers love to participate in events that honor those who have served our country.  Invite your legislator to a pinning or honor flight ceremony, luncheon, or community event that recognizes veterans in hospice.

Attend a Townhall Meeting or “Open-Door” Event
Federal lawmakers often host public townhalls to listen to the concerns and interests of their constituents. Sometimes these events are crowded, often times they are not. Promote hospice and palliative care by encouraging support of our current legislation. For details regarding upcoming townhalls near you, click here.

Legislators often have open office hours when they are back in their homestate/district. You don’t have to show up with a full agenda and a list of talking points, just tell them what you do and let them know that they can contact you if they have any questions about hospice. You can find their office address with a quick Google search.

Visit Your Lawmakers In-District Office
Schedule a formal meeting with your legislator to discuss hospice and palliative care issues and the value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Ideally, a formal visit provides more time to engage with your legislator. Here are some resources to help:

If you’re unsure of where to begin or need some assistance preparing for an event, contact the Hospice Action Network Team at