House Republicans just voted to help energy companies conceal payments to foreign governments from their shareholders and federal regulators in a party line vote. All of the Republican Representatives who voted chose to repeal an Obama Administration regulation aimed at curbing bribery and graft in petroleum-producing states known for high levels of government corruption, robbing people in wealthy countries of basic services, places like Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, and Iraq and exacerbating income inequality.
The Obama Administration’s rule was intended to protect investors from the negative effects of federal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which restricts American business from paying bribes to foreign officials. For example, a single bribery investigation into Walmart’s corrupt building practices in Mexico wound up costing shareholders $439 million dollars in just two years.
JUST IN: House approves resolution killing SEC requirement for oil, gas, mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments
— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) February 1, 2017
Once a measure is repealed by the Congressional Review Act, it can only be made again by law as an act of Congress, which means for the average citizen that once the GOP breaks something, it will be up to voters to install Democrats to fix it with another act of Congress. Republicans intend to repeal five Obama regulations in total, including the one above.
House Republicans are having an orgy of deregulation increasing the pollution and greed in Washington DC, and they don’t care what sensible rules they have to erase to start the party. The other measures GOP legislators want to ditch keep our water clean, reduce the methane pollution that causes global warming, provide accurate data for gun background checks and a rule implementing fair pay in the workplace.
The GOP’s decision to keep shareholders in the dark portends a whole new era of global corruption, juxtaposed against the Senate’s paltry party line confirmation of Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson ExxonMobil. President Obama’s Administration spent years crafting sensible rules, with lots of public notice, outside of the hothouse of the political process, and with the public comment of all interested parties.
Congressional Republicans vote on weakening rules that protect shareholders sends a clear message to America’s worst polluters, the carbon energy companies; dirty, back room deals with petro-states are back and here to stay.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition