WASHINGTON (11/5/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has good relationships with leaders from both political parties and welcomes the election of President-elect Barack Obama as an opportunity to continue to work for progress on credit union legislative priorities, said CUNA senior vice president of legislative affairs, John Magill, late Tuesday night. Although the Obama campaign declined to become giddy over polls leading up to the election that indicated its candidate would be victorious, it had been widely predicted that the Democratic senator from Illinois would become the country’s next president. Magill said of the election results, “Credit unions serve and represent the interests of their member-owners—the every-day Americans who are this country’s voters. CUNA, in working to help credit unions better serve their members, maintains good working relationships with political leaders from both parties.” He added, “We look forward to working with President-elect Obama on credit union legislative priorities, such as freeing up credit through increased member business lending authority and by establishing a risk-based capital system for credit unions.” Inauguration day is more than two months away-- Jan. 20. However, Congressional lawmakers will not be silent until that time. Both the House and Senate have announced intentions to return for a lame duck session the week of Nov. 17—and perhaps another such session in December. Congress is expected to investigate possible further measures for shoring up the nation’s troubled economy and stabilize capital markets. Also an energy bill, defense authorization bill and a continuing resolution to fund the government are pending before Congress. CUNA’s Magill has said that a lame duck session is a good development for credit unions. "The Senate is where CUBTRRA now sits," Magill said, referring to the Credit Union, Bank and Thrift Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 6312), approved by voice vote in the House on June 24. "A so-called lame duck session in the Senate, after yesterday’s elections, will give us another opportunity—another shot at getting the regulatory improvements through the Senate this year." The bill provides about a dozen improvements for credit unions. "Clearly there is precious little legislative time left on the 2008 clock. However, CUNA continues to work in Congress at every opportunity to advance legislation to provide regulatory relief for credit unions. It’s a long shot for this year—but still a shot," Magill said. See tomorrow’s News Now for further coverage of election results on races of key interest to credit unions.