Staffers perceive a program and its AM as having the same
character. A poor program reflects on its manager, and vice versa.
Staffers usually support national defense, but not necessarily the DoD
way of preserving it.
Recognize that former military officers and DoD
officials with defense expertise and "Washington street smarts" often end up
on staffs. Don't presume their bonding with you in the name of national
Staffers are often stovepiped experts in a particular field
and will bore in on their interests. Staffers jockey within their offices for
information and standing and internal jealousies exist as anywhere. However,
do not think they operate in a vacuum. They talk with each other and compare
Be careful about playing staffers off against each other. Not all are
experts in your areas, but usually they know how to ask the right questions,
discern answers, draw conclusions, and make recommendations.
staffers often act as brokers between Members. If you are not getting
cooperation from the majority-side staffer, try the minority side.
If a staffer perceives you are honest and straightforward, he will work
with you in spite of adversity.
The mission of appropriations
committee professional staff members institutionally has been to cut the
budget, but that may be changing. Know which way the flow is going.
Staffers have to make a living too. They need you and want to keep
their pipelines open and sources accessible.
Committee staffers are
key to the long-term memory of Congress and are known to remember promises
made to the Hill.