Written By: Terence P. Stewart
The Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart
Focus: Federal Funding and the Appropriations Process
Our government affairs professionals provide corporations, associations, state and local governments, colleges and universities, and nonprofit entities in particular with advice on how to obtain federal funds.
Government funds help private companies supply the military with goods to train and equip our troops. Federal dollars are routinely awarded to help municipalities build roads, complete water and sewer systems, supply police departments, and support domestic abuse centers, reentry programs and homeless shelters. Federal investment helps schools, hospitals, and community health centers train professionals and purchase needed equipment. Finally, government funds help nonprofits afford technologies that can put the blind and disabled to work earning a livable wage.
We help our clients set funding priorities based on their needs and the unique characteristics of the yearly congressional appropriations process. Then we devise a legislative strategy that allows each organization to present its proposals in a way that is persuasive and accurate. Presentations are made to Members of Congress and Senators, as well as to national appropriations leaders in the House and Senate.
We work closely with our clients from start to finish to be sure that their proposals are worthy of federal funding and coincide with the anticipated legislative agenda of the Congress. We do the “leg work” necessary to negotiate the federal appropriations process. Importantly, we draft each funding request for our clients, all of which must be submitted to Congress early in the year. Understanding and translating the complex appropriations process into the requisite paper work that must be submitted is critical to the success of any project.
We position our clients’ proposals so that Members of Congress and Senators understand how the funds provided will benefit their communities. Our job is to make our clients’ congressmen and senators recognize and appreciate their good work! We schedule meetings with Members of the House and Senate; we prepare briefing materials; we direct follow-up activities such as support letters, e-mails, and telephone calls; and we provide background materials. In sum, we undertake all efforts needed to ensure that our clients’ interests become priorities for their Members of Congress. In the end, lawmakers are pleased to fund our projects because we make the benefits of each request clear, and the requests benefit their constituents.