Two Republican senators are calling on the Government Accountability Office to withdraw a recent report that said retirement plan investments, including the Thrift Savings Plan's, could be exposed to financial risks from climate change.
In a letter sent Thursday to Gene L. Dodaro, the GAO's comptroller general, Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said the GAO relied on a report that was unlawfully issued by a federal advisory subcommittee when crafting its findings.
The GAO report, which was published in May and publicly released in June, recommended the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, Washington, evaluate the Thrift Savings Plan's investment offerings with an eye on risks related to climate change. The board "has not taken steps to assess the risks to TSP's investments from climate change as part of its process for evaluating investment options," the GAO stated in its report.
The Thrift board administers the $774.2 billion Thrift Savings Plan, the retirement system for 6.4 million federal employees and members of the uniformed services. The board is required to invest the TSP's funds passively, and board officials told the GAO they do not focus on risks to a specific industry or company, according to the report.
In the letter sent Thursday, the senators took issue with a September 2020 report from the climate-related market risk subcommittee of the market risk advisory committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is cited in the GAO report. The senators said the subcommittee violated a federal law that stipulates how federal advisory committees operate by holding meetings that were not posted in the Federal Register.
The senators asked the GAO to "immediately withdraw" its report and issue a response no later than Oct. 29.
Tranchau (Kris) T. Nguyen, a director in GAO's education, workforce, and income security team, said in an email that, "We just received the letter and will be reviewing it to determine our response."
Kim Weaver, director of external affairs for the Thrift board, declined comment.