Schedulers: the backbone of congressional offices

2021 calendars for January through December 2021

Each member’s day is planned from beginning to end. Everything from breakfast, to meetings, to travel time is carefully worked out. Congressional schedulers make sure everything runs smoothly. They manage the member’s schedules and daily activities. Being a scheduler takes attention to detail, executive functioning, and adaptability. Things change on a dime on Capitol Hill, and it is a scheduler’s job to plan for everything.

Schedulers are the most organized people in the office. They plan their member’s days down to the last minute. Mealtime, travel time, and work time are all carefully worked out. Backup plans are also worked out in advance. Members’ days rarely go according to plan, and schedulers are always prepared to adjust times to make everything work. For example, when a member travels from Washington D.C. to their home district (and vice versa), the scheduler books multiple flights in case the member misses their flight. This troubleshooting and foresight extend to every task they do.

Schedulers must also anticipate problems before they happen. Legislators and staff are always focused on their work, and it often falls to the scheduler to make sure things in the office run the way they should. They determine who the member meets with and when, create briefing materials for the member, and make sure staff are clued into important information. They know their member’s favorite food, coffee order, music, and more. This information helps them keep their member happy and their office running smoothly. Details are important.

Senate offices have an entire scheduling team who plan the member’s activities on Capitol Hill and in their home state. Senators deal with larger constituencies, so it takes more work to manage their schedules. In the House, each member normally has one scheduler in the Washington D.C. office. Sometimes a district scheduler will plan the member’s activities when they are in the district, but this is not always the case. Most House schedulers single-handedly manage their member’s entire lives. If you are lucky enough to work closely with a scheduler, be sure to thank them for their service.

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