WASHINGTON (12/23/09)--The expansive legislative agenda, which was led in 2009 by the administration of President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, has led to sweeping regulatory changes and, for many lobbying groups, including the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), increased levels of activity. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill told Politico (Dec. 22) that the “frantic pace” of this years’ legislative calendar, which included in-depth reforms of financial regulations, credit card rules, bank overdraft rules, and other items, has caused CUNA to spend “considerably more” on its lobbying efforts than it spent in the previous year. However, Magill said, simple accounting does not explain CUNA’s full grassroots efforts, which resulted in thousands of credit union representatives coming to Washington for CUNA’s annual Government Affairs Conference and hundreds more speaking directly with their members of Congress during CUNA’s “Hike the Hill” initiatives. This type of grassroots activity, which also took place earlier this month in advance of the recent final House vote on financial reforms, contributed to the defeat of a proposed mortgage cramdown amendment, Magill added. Citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Politico reported that in spite of a decrease in the number of registered lobbyists and a still troubled economy, D.C.-based lobbying groups will likely outdo the previous spending record of $3.3 billion, which was set last year.