January 25, 2024

Sustainable Investment Caucus Celebrates One-Year of Protecting Investor Freedom

Washington, D.C. (January 25th) - Today, U.S. Congressman Sean Casten (IL-06) and Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-52), co-chairs of the Congressional Sustainable Investment Caucus (CSIC), released the following statement celebrating the first anniversary of the establishment of the caucus: 

“When we started the Congressional Sustainable Investment Caucus one year ago, we did so to better inform policymaking by creating a forum to have robust discussions with experts, protect Americans’ freedom to invest, and increase the transparency of information to market participants,” said Reps. Casten and Vargas. “We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished, from briefings and roundtable discussions with investors, fund managers, and companies to fighting back against anti-ESG misinformation.”

The CSIC’s highlights and accomplishments since its creation in January 2023 include:

  • Leading the Democratic battle plan to fight back on anti-ESG attacks during the GOP’s “ESG Month”. Reps. Casten and Vargas, co-chairs of the CSIC, coordinated with House Democrats on how to push back on anti-free market attacks on ESG throughout a set of committee hearings last summer. Casten, Vargas, and Ranking Member Maxine Waters (D-CA) held a press conference to call out these hearings and stress the importance of protecting America’s capital markets. 
  • Endorsing legislation to support sustainable retirement. The CSIC endorsed the introduction of the Freedom to Invest in a Sustainable Future Act, legislation that would give workplace retirement plans the freedom to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in their investment decisions or offer ESG investment options. 
  • Leading a letter with 75+ House Democrats Urging the SEC to Finalize a Strong and Durable Climate Disclosure Rule. The CSIC led a letter in support of the SEC’s proposed climate disclosure rulemaking that would give investors clear, comparable, and standardized disclosures to judge companies' climate risk, reduce costs to issuers, and provide more useful information to all market participants.
  • Hosting a roundtable discussion with Members of Congress, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs, Maryland Comptroller Brooke Lierman, and US SIF Managing Director Bryan McGannon. The roundtable participants discussed how they view ESG risks, why ESG risks are financially material, and why investors are demanding improved disclosures on these risks. Members also had the opportunity to question the witnesses on how federal legislators should be thinking about the topic.
  • Holding regular briefings for Members. Casten and Vargas held 10 virtual and in-person briefings for Members of Congress and staff to discuss sustainable investing and legislative priorities. 

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