The country's anti-Washington mood will cause the industry's largest trade group to rely more on state-level lobbyists to push its agenda to the 104th Congress.
"These are not people who are fond of Washington," said Jeanne-Marie Murphy, a lobbyist in the Credit Union National Association's Washington office, of the 83 new lawmakers in both chambers of Congress. Because of the "nature of the new Congress, state leagues will have a greater role," she said.
This increased importance will translate into state-level lobbyists traveling to Washington more frequently than in the past, she said.
CUNA is composed of 52 leagues, representing the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Last week the trade group's Washington office had a gathering for about 50 lobbyists from 28 states to brief them on the new political landscape and have them meet with their representatives.
"One of the things we wanted to do was have people from back home greet" the lawmakers, Ms. Murphy said.
It's likely that the new lawmakers already are familiar with credit unions. CUNA's political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee, contributed $665,875 to 244 candidates in the 1993-1994 election cycle.