Two Republican lawmakers have reintroduced legislation in the House to block the SEC's climate disclosure rule proposal.
The bill, originally introduced by Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Andy Barr, R-Ky., in December, would insert statutory language into both the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to instruct that the SEC only require an issuer to disclose information if it's determined "that such information is important with respect to a voting or investment decision regarding such issuer."
"The desire to massively expand the authority, scope, and reach of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Gary Gensler is unacceptable," said Mr. Huizenga, who chairs the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee, in a news release Wednesday. "This heavy-handed approach to climate-related disclosure will hamper economic growth, create new hurdles for small businesses, and make it more difficult for everyday investors to retire with financial security."
Republicans on Capitol Hill have long been critical of the SEC's climate disclosure rule proposal, originally introduced in March 2022. In February, Mr. Huizenga, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, sent a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler, requesting additional information on the proposal and asserting that it oversteps the agency's authority.
At an April hearing, Mr. Gensler defended the proposal, assuring members of the House Financial Services Committee that it will only affect public companies. "We do not place through this proposal and nor do we intend to have any obligations on non-public companies," such as small businesses and family farms, he said.
"This is about companies that are already making disclosures and trying to bring some consistency to that disclosure," Mr. Gensler added.
The House bill echoes a bill in the Senate, which Sen. Mike Rounds, R-.S.D., and nine other Republican senators reintroduced on June 15.