Rep. Vargas' Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Legislative Package Passes the House
Washington, D.C. (June 17, 2021) — This week, the Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act, legislation led by Representative Juan Vargas (CA-51), passed out of the House of Representatives. This bill is a Financial Services Committee legislative package that will encourage corporate environmental and social responsibility.
Specifically, the legislative package's lead bill, H.R. 1187, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2021 – drafted by Rep. Vargas – would require the SEC to create a standard definition of ESG metrics and would mandate that the SEC require standardized ESG disclosures.
Rep. Vargas’ bill was originally introduced in September of 2019.
"I'm proud that H.R. 1187 passed the House floor and I’m optimistic that my bill will encourage corporate and social responsibility in California's 51st District and around the nation,” said Rep. Vargas. “For a couple of years now, I've been working to make my bill, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act of 2021, into law. Today, we are one step closer.”
ESG matters generally include issues relating to environmental sustainability, such as climate change; social issues, such as human rights and labor practices; and governance issues, such as gender, racial, and ethnic diversity at both executive and board levels.
“Information from ESG disclosures will help investors have greater insight into what companies are doing to reduce their carbon footprints and to address important issues like climate change, diversity, and labor rights. Investors in my district have increasingly been demanding public companies disclose ESG information. My bill will help ensure clarity and comparability in disclosure of companies’ practices, by developing a much-needed comprehensive ESG disclosure framework."
The following organizations endorsed the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act language within this package: Public Citizen, American Sustainable Business Council, Social Ventures Circle, Friends of the Earth, Investor Advocates for Social Justice, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB), AFL-CIO, US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, Americans for Financial Reform, Earth Rights International, Oxfam America, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Ferran International Advisors, Sustainable Furnishings Council, Climate Action Business Association, League of Conservation Voters, CalPERS, Green Retirement Inc.
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all Imperial County, and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee.