House Repubs to Combat Woke Corporate Rules

( – House GOP leadership is set to take on the creeping enforcement of “woke” corporate governance policies with a new committee.

The group will focus on “ESG” initiatives, which stands for “Environmental, Social, and Governance” policies. These initiatives, pushed by leftist activists, have been swiftly adopted throughout the corporate world. Critics say the policies, many of which focus on “green” energy and “diversity, equity, and inclusion” goals, are a cover for leftist political goals.

Patrick McHenry, R-NC, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced the ESG group. He appointed Financial Services Oversight Subcommittee chair Bill Huizenga, R-MI. to lead the group of nine, all Republicans.

ESG watchers say the focus on “green” energy and racial and gender-based hiring policies distracts companies from their legal fiduciary duty to make a profit for investors. McHenry characterized ESG as a move by progressives to “do with American businesses what they already did to our public education system”, which was to force leftist ideology onto American business.

One of the working group’s main focuses will be what McHenry calls regulatory overreach from federal agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also wants the group to address the disclosures companies have to give investors, as well as the proxy voting process for shareholders.

Group chair Huizenga cited a Supreme Court ruling in 2022, West Virginia v the Environmental Protection Agency, as an example of why the working group is needed. The decision affirmed that the federal government cannot “arbitrarily expand” its regulatory powers, he said, and the SEC’s rule forcing companies to disclose their alleged “climate impact” is an example of overreach.

The ESG movement has been appealing to Democrats and left-leaning lawmakers inclined to expand government oversight of private business. Some of the world’s largest publicly traded companies, such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street have pushed ESG requirements. This has led to widespread adoption of the approach across Wall Street companies.

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