How to Submit Ideas to the Federal Government for Consideration

By Patrick Gleeson, Ph. D., Registered Investment Adv ; Updated April 24, 2017
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The White House image by dwight9592 from Fotolia.com

You can submit ideas to the federal government in many ways. In addition to using regular mail, you can reach the president and all members of Congress through their websites, email addresses and phone numbers. Many members of the government also have other social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter. All of them provide an opportunity to submit your ideas.

Communicating Ideas to the President

You can submit ideas to the president of the United States in the following ways:

  • Email: Send an email to comments@whitehouse.gov or to president@whitehouse.gov.
  • Regular mail: Submit your ideas in a letter addressed as follows: The President of the United States, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20500.
  • White House website: Use the form available at WhiteHouse.gov to send an email of no more than 2,500 words.
  • Phone: Call 202-456-1111 to leave a comment for the president. Alternatively, call 202-456-1414 to reach the White House switchboard.
  • Twitter: If you don't have a Twitter account, go to Twitter.com and sign up for one. Send your idea in a Twitter message of up to 140 characters to @whitehouse or @realDonaldRTrump or @POTUS (the acronym for president of the United States).
  • Facebook: If you don't already have an account, go to Facebook.com and follow a few simple directions to create your free account. Log in and then go to Facebook.com/WhiteHouse. You'll fill out a form to write to the president on a number of offered subjects.

The White House receives more than 20,000 letters a day. Obviously, the president can't read every one. The administration of President Barack Obama used a large volunteer group to sort them into subject categories. Letters of particular interest on these subjects were sent to White House staff, who sorted them further, narrowing them to 10 letters each day, which Obama promised he'd read. Apparently he did, because stories abound of someone writing him and then getting a personal letter or phone call from the president himself.

The administration of President Donald Trump has no announced policy. It's generally known that Trump communicates using Twitter, so your chances of reaching him might be better there.

Communicating With Members of Congress

The federal government website USA.gov explains how to reach members of Congress and other state and local government officials. The site lists each elected senator and representative by name, office telephone number and email address.

Clicking on a Congress member's name almost always brings you directly to that official's website, where you can email the official through the provided form. On many of these sites, contact information through Twitter and Facebook is also provided.

Other provided information may include the member's schedule, current initiatives and interests, an invitation to one or more in-state meetings with your representative and a list of that representative's in-state offices.

Does Submitting Ideas to the President or Congress Work?

While it's easy to submit comments to the president, each presidential administration differs in its interest and effectiveness in responding to communications from the populace. Congressional officials also make communicating easy, and communicating with them is generally effective. For example, the defeat of the initial 2017 attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, followed a stream of negative comments sent to government officials by both liberal and conservative citizens.

About the Author

Patrick Gleeson received a doctorate in 18th century English literature at the University of Washington. He served as a professor of English at the University of Victoria and was head of freshman English at San Francisco State University. Gleeson is the director of technical publications for McClarie Group and manages an investment fund. He is a Registered Investment Advisor.