- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Congress needs to adjust banking regulations passed after the 2008 economic collapse to eliminate aspects of the measures that are hurting small banks, Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy said Thursday.

Murphy is among a minority of Democrats who have supported Republican-proposed changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, enacted in 2010 as a response to the worst financial crisis in seven decades. The legislation contains about 2,300 pages and can be complicated to interpret. Murphy said banking giants like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America can afford to hire compliance officers, lawyers and accountants to deal with it, but doing so takes up resources for small banks that should be used elsewhere.

“If you are a small community bank and you have to go hire two or three compliance officers, that’s right off the bottom line,” he said in a telephone interview after releasing an eight-page policy paper on economic issues. “That’s a big chunk of what you could be able to loan out to that next small business, to that 30-year-old that’s trying to buy their first home.”

The Dodd-Frank Act “was very well-intended, we had to do something after the downturn,” Murphy said. “We saw the greed of many of the banks that had to be reined in.”

But he said the law had unintended consequences.

“Every time major legislation like this gets passed, I believe the focus needs to be on getting it right,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s economic policy contains many points he and other Democrats have been making, such as raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, equal pay for women and making college more affordable.

Murphy is also calling for reducing regulations on businesses and proposing a commission made up of Republicans, Democrats and independents that would recommend eliminating outdated or duplicative regulations. He said his approach would be different than Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott who repeatedly call for fewer regulations in order to boost business.

“A lot of the regulations he is trying to alleviate are only going to help the biggest businesses,” Murphy said. “The biggest businesses in the country and the world, they’re doing fine. They’ve had historic margins and historic cash flows in the past several years. It’s the small businesses, the mid-size businesses that are really, really struggling right now and those are the ones that I want to focus on.”

Murphy is facing U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in the primary for the seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Grayson’s campaign said it was reviewing Murphy’s policy paper, but didn’t immediately respond to it.

Republicans seeking the seat including Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, U.S. Reps. David Jolly and Ron DeSantis and businessmen Todd Wilcox and Carlos Beruff.

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