Manifest reports on the US House proposals to reduce shareholder information and oversight:
The US House of Representatives last week voted on a series of proposals designed to dismantle key aspects of Dodd Frank reforms. After June’s vote to propose regulation of proxy advisors and rescind the conflict minerals rule, the latest intervention on watering down shareholder rights and ESG removes:
the SEC’s authority to enforce the CEO median pay ratio disclosure rules;
the ability for the SEC to mandate companies disclose material climate-change risks;
and the ability for SEC to give shareholders voting by proxy the ability to vote for a mix of of management and opposition board candidates on the same “universal ballot card”.
At present, only shareholders physically present at a meeting are allowed to vote for a mix of candidates from different slates. Shareholders voting by proxy must choose one full slate or another.The proposals were put forward as “poison pill riders” to a financial-services agencies appropriations bill for the federal budget year beginning October 1.
Although the bill was passed and sent to the Senate, the future of the most controversial aspects is uncertain. It is understood that due to the timing of the presidential elections, Republican leaders do not want to pass a budget bill that could lead to a presidential veto that they could not override.