When I did arrive finally after negotiating terms and how things would go, each committee meeting was scheduled for 8 hours, and I was the only one testifying, and still no one had read the report. In addition, each member got five minutes to give an opening statement, and it did not have to connect to the reason I was there. After that was done they each had opportunities to ask questions, and they would testify themselves before they asked questions. I respectfully interrupted them and stated what questions about my report did they have, and usually the response was none, so I asked the Chairman can we move on, as I am here to answer questions. The funny part is then everyone started rifling through pages quickly to come up with questions. By the fourth committee meeting questions were asked and less time wasting was occurred. Each testimony only took an hour each leaving me with a lot of free time. Thus I was able to get a lot of one on one meetings with staff regarding my issues and reports. The funny part here, is every meeting, the staff, who did read the reports, were more interested about pushing their agenda or their bosses’ agenda, and did not really care about the subject of the report or how it related to their constituencies. Thus, the reason why Congress never gets anything done. Now, not all representatives were this bad, several asked intelligent questions and were interested in how things worked and moved forward. However, they were definitely the minority.
Because of this process, I encourage all of you to vote and call your elected officials and demand time with them. Maybe if we start forcing them to do their job the right way, more might get accomplished.