On June 16th, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed with broad bi-partisan support a bill sponsored by Washington State Congresswoman Kim Schrier (8th District). The sponsored bill is intended to ease the burden of paperwork on small businesses. The Press Release from Represenative's Schrier's office is included below.
CONGRESSWOMAN KIM SCHRIER, M.D.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rep. Schrier's Amendment to Ease Paperwork Burden on Small Businesses Passes House with Strong Bipartisan Support
WASHINGTON, DC -- Today the House of Representatives passed Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08)'s amendment to HR 1187, the ESG Disclosure Simplification Act, 380 - 47. The purpose of HR 1187 is to ensure that publicly traded companies are transparent about disclosing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is eyeing similar requirements for businesses to report on climate risks and other ESG matters.
Rep. Schrier's amendment made sure that disclosing this information doesn't become a burden on small businesses that already face a lot of paperwork and have already had a very difficult year surviving the pandemic. Rep. Schrier's amendment requires the Sustainable Finance Advisory Commission to study issues small businesses may face complying with the requirements of this bill and issue recommendations to ease regulatory burdens for these businesses.
Rep. Schrier's remarks on the floor were as follows:
"M. Speaker, my amendment to the bill is very simple.
It would ensure that this important legislation does not place an undue burden on small businesses.
In so many areas throughout our district, our main street businesses are just now finally getting back on their feet. They have faced unprecedented challenges during this past pandemic year. One small business owner in Auburn almost didn't apply for federal finanical assistance because she was overwhelmed by the potential paperwork.
Even before the pandemic, small businesses were bogged down with paperwork and administrative burdens -- tasks that can be easily handled by a large corporation, but can put a Main Street shop out of business.
When we implement this legislation, we should understand what effect it will have on small businesses and make it as easy as possible for them to disclose this important information.
That's why my amendment requires the Sustainable Finance Advisory Commission to study issues small businesses may face in complying with the requirements of this bill and issue recommendations to ease regulatory burdens for these businesses.
As we move forward in creating transparency for large corporations, it is important that we do so without creating burdens that could hamper the recovery of local businesses.
This is a common-sense amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support its adoption."
Libby Carlson - 202.225.7761