What Will the Midterms Mean for Big Business?


Delta Air Lines, based in Atlanta, could also be called to testify. Why? Because Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, described Georgia’s 2021 voting rights bill — which critics said would make it more difficult for minorities to vote — as “unacceptable” and “based on a lie.”

Nineteen Republican attorneys general are investigating the six largest U.S. banks for their climate change policies — which Republicans will no doubt pick up on. “Financial companies that are pushing for lesser use of fossil fuels will come under pressure,” said Mr. Clifton.

But the company most likely to be scrutinized, Republican strategists say, is BlackRock, the giant asset manager, and its chief executive, Larry Fink. Just this week, BlackRock disclosed more details about its efforts to give investors direct access to vote their shares, in part as an answer to critics who believe the firm has too much influence. In his annual letters to C.E.O.s, Mr. Fink has forcefully made the case that climate-based goals and E.S.G. more generally are important both for society and for corporate bottom lines. Shareholders, he wrote in his most recent letter, “need to know where we stand on the societal issues intrinsic to our companies’ long-term success.”

One person who has made the opposite case — that companies should stick to making money and abandon E.S.G. and politics — is the investor Vivek Ramaswamy, whose book “Woke Inc.: Inside Corporate America’s Social Justice Scam,” has been highly influential in Republican circles. Last spring, for instance, Mr. Ramaswamy spoke at the House Republican retreat in Florida. “What I had to say was very well received,” he told me.

Then there are areas where Republicans are likely to aid companies, because their positions are so in synch with corporate goals. Mr. Clifton told me the Republicans will push hard for more energy infrastructure — like pipelines from Canada — which of course is something energy companies want.

And Republicans and big business both want fewer regulations. With Republicans in charge, congressional committees will be questioning the actions of Democratic agency heads. Has the National Labor Relations Board become too pro-union, especially in its dealings with Amazon? Where is the S.E.C.’s authority to issue a proposed rule for climate-related disclosure? Is the C.F.P.B. pursuing a “radical and highly politicized agenda unbounded by statutory limits,” as a group of Republican senators described the agency in a strongly worded letter to its director, Rohit Chopra, last September? Is the F.T.C. chair, Lina Kahn, moving the agency too far to the left?

As for the Environmental Protection Agency, long a Republican target, the trade publication E&E News predicts “multiple hourslong hearings,” “letters demanding documents from every corner of the agency” and “even subpoenas for text messages.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *