House Subcommittee Pushes Expanded Financial Reporting

By Stephen Barlas
October 1, 2019

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.”


Stephen Barlas has covered Washington, D.C., for trade and professional magazines since 1981 and since 1984 for Strategic Finance and its predecessor Management Accounting. You can reach him at sbarlas@verizon.net.
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