House Republicans' ESG Working Group identified eight priorities to focus on for the remainder of the 118th Congress, according to an interim report the group released.
The House Financial Services Committee announced the creation of the ESG Working Group in February, which Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said is meant to "combat the threat to our capital markets posed by those on the far-left pushing environmental, social and governance proposals." The group is led by Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and made up of eight other Republican committee members.
"Across the nation, boardrooms are being held hostage by those who push policies that will lower returns for Americans trying to build a brighter and more financially secure future," Mr. Huizenga said in a news release Friday. "House Republicans will stand up, defend the free market, and the ability for Americans to make their own financial decisions as they see fit."
The group's eight priorities include revamping the proxy voting process, ensuring transparency and accountability of proxy advisory firms, and instituting policies to better align shareholder voting decisions with shareholder economic interests.
In addition, the working group is set to focus on increasing oversight of large asset managers and improving accountability and transparency of ESG rating agencies.
In the news release, the working group also said it aims to "strengthen oversight and conduct thorough investigations into federal regulatory efforts that would contort our financial system into a vehicle to implement climate policy," referring to the SEC's climate disclosure proposal, and "demand transparency, responsibility, and adherence to statutory limits from financial and consumer regulatory agencies."
On Wednesday, Mr. Huizenga and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., who also serves on the House Financial Services Committee, reintroduced a bill to block the SEC's climate disclosure proposal. Republican lawmakers on the committee have long been critical of the proposal, stating it exceeds the agency's authority.
Lastly, the ESG working group said it plans to "protect U.S. companies from burdensome EU regulations, safeguarding American interests in global markets."