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House CRM provider suggests changes to how Congress communicates with constituents

Washington, DC — Today, the House Franking Commission adopted suggestions from Josh Billigmeier, CEO at Fireside, to streamline the constituent communication process for the House of Representatives. He made these suggestions on October 31 in testimony at a hearing before the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress titled “Congress and the Frank: Bringing Congressional Mailing Standards into the 21st Century.”

“The franking approval process often takes far too long,” Billigmeier testified. “Congress should not have an approval process that makes something no longer newsworthy by the time they’re able to send it out. My strong recommendation is that Congress find an approval process that takes less than 24 hours for content to be sent out by email.”

Billigmeier further proposed that congressional offices be permitted to send multiple updates on an issue to constituents who have contacted the office about that issue without obtaining Franking Commission approval. Framing the problem, he explained, “If 500 people in a congressional district contact their member of Congress urging them to co-sponsor legislation, the office can respond to those 500 people without needing franking approval. However, after those responses are sent, if the member then decides to cosponsor that piece of legislation, their staff will have to get approval from franking to send an update to those 500 people.”

These suggestions led to a rule change that will allow members of Congress to send multiple follow-up responses and keep constituents up to date as legislation moves through Congress.

“We are excited to see the Franking Commission adopt rules that streamline the approval process and enable members to follow-up with constituents,” said Billigmeier. “In addition, the rule changes to bulk messaging will help offices get content out in a timely fashion and resolve many headaches that staff currently deal with on a daily basis.”

The new House franking rules are available here.


Fireside is a leading software solution company that offers fully integrated platforms for Congressional offices, enabling users to conduct outreach and organize records through a single software. Fireside specializes in email and telephone town hall communications, CRM databases, and website design and management. Fireside allows companies and organizations to work smarter, reach further, and discover more about their constituencies. Learn more at