Exclusive — Sen. Eric Schmitt, Senate Republicans Demand Answers on ESG for Government Contractors Rule

Eric Schmitt
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-MO) and Senate Republicans on Friday demanded answers about a proposed Biden administration environment, social, and governance (ESG) rule for government contractors, Breitbart News has learned exclusively.

Schmitt and Sens. John Thune (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-SD), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Budd (R-NC), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Katie Britt (R-AL), Rick Scott (R-FL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) sent a letter to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Robin Carnahan, and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, demanding answers about a proposed ESG rule that would negatively impact contractors with the DOD, GSA, and NASA.

Sen. Eric Schmitt: Contractor Rule Letter to GSA, NASA, and DOD by Breitbart News on Scribd

The senators said that in the proposed rule, federal contractors and suppliers will be forced to disclose their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-related financial risks as well as set “science-based” emissions reduction targets.

ESG is the latest vector through which the government, large corporations, and Democrats push leftist policies — such as anti-climate change policies, diversity requirements, and anti-racist policies.

Schmitt and the Senate Republicans wrote:

The Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Rule (“Contractor Climate Rule”) would be a disaster, severely distracting your agencies from critical tasks of securing our nation from foreign adversaries and of exploring our universe. Simply put, this Administration should not use procurement policy in order to meet its radical environmental justice goals.

The Senate Republicans continued:

As you explained in your proposed rule, the Federal Government, being the world’s single largest purchaser of goods and services, has the ability to “shift markets, drive innovation, and be a catalyst for adoption of new norms and global standards” 17 Public procurement objectives should ensure the government can acquire high-quality goods quickly and cheaply. Instead of being distracted by bureaucratic rules and regulations, your agencies should be focused on shooting missiles and shooting stars.

The Senate Republicans demanded that the DOD, GSA, and NASA answer the following questions:

  • Did DOD conduct any analysis or any studies as to whether this Contractor Climate Rule would impact our defense industrial base’s ability to significantly expand in case of war?
  • Has DOD considered any ability to wave such onerous requirements imposed under this rule during a time of war?
  • Did NASA conduct any analysis or any studies as to whether this rule would cause further delays to the Artemis mission?
  • Has any of your agencies determined how many contractors will be unable to participate in future contracting opportunities due to this rule? If not, why has your agency not conducted such analysis?
  • Does any of your agencies continue to assert that there is legal authorization to continue with this rule given recent legislative prohibitions?

The Senate Republicans said that they have long been concerned that the Biden administration has been using the federal procurement process to enact “massive, societal changes”:

We have long been concerned that this Administration uses federal procurement policies to unliterally enact massive, societal changes. This Administration’s unlawful efforts to force COVID-19 vaccine mandates on federal contractors was rightly suspended due to legal challenges and threatened billions in federal contracts. We do not intend to stand idly by as this Administration again attempts to further a radical agenda through procurement policy— this time directly harming our defense and space industrial bases.

They warned that if they do not stop the rule, Senate Republicans will move to nullify the law using the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

“If your agencies continue to move forward with this Contractor Climate Rule, Congress will have no choice but to introduce a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act and consider other legislative options to prevent this radical ESG policy,” the Senate Republicans concluded.

Note: This story has been updated to reflect Sen. Jon Ernst (R-IA) retracting her name from the letter.

Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.


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