House Subcommittee Pushes Expanded Financial ReportingBy
The first significant effort by Democrats in Congress to broaden financial reporting requirements concerns environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosures.
The five bills that the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Investor Protection, Entrepreneurship and Capital Markets discussed in July 2019 seek to pressure the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish rules and metrics for corporate reporting on all or some of seven categories: climate risk; annual ESG disclosures based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework; gender pay ratios; human capital management; human rights; political spending; and tax disclosure.
But there will be little if any Republican support for the five bills if Rep. Bill Huizenga (R.-Mich.), the top Republican on the subcommittee, speaks for his party. Huizenga seconded SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce’s statement before the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee in December that ESG stands for “enabling shareholder graft.”