One of the top agenda items for the GOP’s new majority in the House of Representatives is the targeting of “woke” corporations on Wall Street, threatening investigations and other government action if such companies do not reverse anti-American policies and practices.
Politico reports that some of the measures the GOP will be scrutinizing include “ESG (environmental, social, and governance)” policies, divesting from fossil fuels, and race-based affirmative action hiring policies for the sake of “diversity.”
“My members are intent on sending a message that you can’t kowtow to a far-left agenda and still have Republicans fighting the good fight on behalf of free markets and a marketplace that would benefit these companies,” said Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who is set to become the new chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. “This is a complicated factor for sure.”
The pledges mark a significant shift for the Republican Party, which for years has remained friendly towards big business in the name of capitalism and “free markets,” while the Democratic Party remained hostile to such corporations due to their fiscally and socially liberal stances. But the rise of far-left activism by company CEOs and executive boards has led to backlash among the conservative base, as such companies have become increasingly intolerant of right-wing viewpoints and continue pushing aggressively hard-left messaging regarding race, sexual preference, and the environment.
“There’s a total lack of built-in capability or competency to engage in this fight,” said Oren Cass, Executive Director of American Compass. “On Wall Street’s side, there’s just been an assumption you can run and hide behind these politicians who are going to stand up and say, ‘No, no, leave them alone and it will be best for everybody.’ That just doesn’t fly anymore.”
Some of the companies set to be singled out by the GOP Congress include BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity, State Street, and Invesco, among others, according to Congressman Andy Barr (R-Ky.). These companies, Barr said, need to “stop this nonsense of politicizing capital allocation through ESG,” which he describes as “the weaponization of financial regulation designed to discriminate against American energy companies.”
“We want these mutual fund companies, ETF companies, the members of the [Investment Company Institute trade group] to come before Congress and tell us how they’re going to change course and start prioritizing investor returns again,” Barr continued, “instead of promoting this fraud of ESG.”
The GOP is now unanimously projected to have won a majority in the House of Representatives following last Tuesday’s midterms, currently standing at a net gain of +9 seats with only five districts left in the nation that are still undecided; of those five, the GOP could potentially gain another two seats through new districts in California following the redistricting process after the 2020 census, which would result in a GOP gain of +11.