Make the Call: Tips for Making Calls to Congress

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Our experience from over 20 years of Rapid Response actions is that calls matter and our voices have power. They bring awareness to an issue and influence lawmakers. The more calls, the more impact.

Here are tips for making calls to Congress, especially for first-time callers:

I’m not sure who to call.

Our toll-free number makes it easy. When you dial the number provided on a Rapid Response Action Call for the first time, you will be asked for your zip code. That number will route you to the correct Senator or Representative. If you are asked to call both Senators, call a second time to be automatically routed to your other Senator.

Who picks up the phone?

Staff assistants or interns typically answer calls. For some offices, a recording plays and then you are given the option to leave a message.

Remember: Our elected officials work for us. Corporations are well-represented in Washington. When we engage by making calls and taking other action, we ensure that we are too.

I’m not that familiar with the issue. What do I say?

Don’t feel like you need to be an expert. Whenever Rapid Response asks for calls, we include suggested things to say. Most importantly:

  • Tell the person your name and where you are from. It is important for the office to know you live in the district or state they are representing.
  • Share your position on the issue you are calling about. Make sure to reference the bill number, the name of the bill, and any other pertinent information (reference the Rapid Response information for these details).

How long does it take?

Most calls only take a minute. The staffer answering the phone often only wants to know who you are, where you are from, and if you support or oppose an issue so it can be noted. That’s it!

I’ve never called before. I’m nervous!

Most people are surprised at how easy it is after making their first call. However, you can also call after business hours and leave a message on your Senator or Representative’s voicemail.

What if i want my call to make a bigger impact?

Ask to speak with the legislative aide who handles the topic area you are calling about. Share how the issue relates to you and your members. Ask for a response from the office. Get others to join you in making a call. When groups of people are calling at the same time, an office is forced to take note!

I wasn’t able to get through. Now what?

Sometimes when Congress is debating a major issue, high call volume can overwhelm an office. You can try calling the district offices instead.
Please report to Rapid Response if this is happening. Find out the phone numbers by looking up your Representative or Senators at or

Calling State Lawmakers: Every state has a different structure. We will adjust our instructions on Action Calls as needed. Most of the same principles for calling U.S. Senators and Representatives apply. For the greatest chance of easily connecting with your state lawmakers, join our mobile alerts and make sure to provide your address: text USWRapid to 69866.

Rapid Response information is shared through email. We also text action requests and information.

  • To sign up for emails, visit the Rapid Response website at 
  • To sign up for texting, text uswrapid to the number 69866. We don’t text often - only when it really counts! You can stop at any time. Standard rates apply.