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Congress to hear impact of regulations in Wausau


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) – Members of Congress will learn what kind of impact federal financial regulations are having on small businesses in Wisconsin during a field hearing in Wausau this morning.

The House Financial Services Committee's subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit will hold the hearing at Wausau City Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Weston) serves on the committee.

“The rules and regulations...that were meant for Wall Street have had a tremendously negative impact on our small banks, our small Main Street,” Duffy said in a phone interview late last week.

Five area bankers and business executives will testify before the panel. One is Mark Matthiae, president of Crystal Finishing Systems in Weston. The Small Business Administration last month named the company, which provides coating and aluminum extrusion, to its SBA 100 for creating at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA loans.

Duffy said Crystal Finishing is a prime example of how financial reforms have hurt small businesses. He said the company should have been able to obtain financing from the private sector to expand. Instead the company got a $1 million government backed loan in 2007 to buy automation technology to help it survive and compete.

Duffy sponsored a bill the House passed in July that would revamp financial reforms that have been on the books for more than a year. Duffy's measure would replace the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with a five-member bipartisan commission. It would also give that panel greater leeway in overturning regulations that threaten the safety of the U.S. banking system. The bill has stalled in the Democratic-led Senate.