On Thursday, Capitol Hill was consumed by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony. But just after the high-profile hearing played out in the Hart Senate Office Building, House Republicans passed a mammoth, 580-page bill that would do more to deregulate the banking industry than any single piece of legislation in a generation.
Frank Sherman, Associate Director Seventh Generation Interfaith
Many of the laws and regulations protecting the environment, consumer and worker rights, immigrants and minorities have been under attack of late. Now Congress is going after investor rights that have benefited investors, companies and society as a whole for nearly 80 years. Proposed legislation would prevent most investors from being able to file shareholder proposals with companies on key issues they want further action on, such as board governance matters, corporate policies or emerging risks like climate change. The shareholder proposal process is a critical tool in Seventh Generation Interfaith members’ ability to influence corporate behavior.
The amendment to the SEC rules, part of a larger bill (the Financial Choice Act, aimed at replacing the Dodd-Frank Act, has been proposed by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). A hearing on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26.
Seventh Generation Interfaith and Region VI (Cleveland, Ohio) have co-signed a letter to Sen. Robert Portman (Ohio), requesting his support of a business supply transparency bill for this Congress. Portman is a key member of the Senate Finance Committee, likely starting point of such a bill. The effort is an attempt to resurrect the The Business Supply Chain Transparency on Trafficking and Slavery Act of 2015 (H.R. 3226/S.1968); last session’s version garnered great support from numerous socially responsible investors.
U.S. companies including major exporters General Electric Co (GE.N) and Boeing Co (BA.N) launched a coalition on Thursday to back a House Republican plan to tax all imports, saying the proposal would “support American jobs and American-made products.”
Several members of Seventh Generation Interfaith, including the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, School Sisters of St. Francis, Sinsinawa Dominican Shareholder Action Committee, Sisters of St. Dominic (Racine, Wisc.), Sisters of the Presentation, and Sisters of the Presentation of the BVM, have co-signed a letter to the Trump Administration and U.S. Congress, asking them to protect the Affordable Care Act in the U.S.