Publicola: Cantwell Keeping the Pressure on Corporate America
The fallout from the economic collapse at the end of last year has been countered with a flurry of consumer protection legislation from Congress’ more outspoken Democrats. Washington State’s own populist firebrand, Junior Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), has supported much of that legislation while also putting pressure on Fed regulators and corporate representatives during Senate hearings.
And now she’s got her own bill now—cosponsored with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), that would give shareholders an unprecedented amount of power in influencing the highest reaches of corporate decision making. Cantwell’s been a fierce critic of the the lackadaisical bailout plan, and she supported a (losing) measure to block phase 2.
Cantwell’s new bill mandates that a shareholder committee be created to approve increases in executive pay, although the committee’s decisions, according to the bill text, are technically non-binding.
The measure, according to Politico, has caused concern among CEOs, who insist that shareholder advice will have a distorting effect as companies continue rewrite their own governance procedures.
The bill is included in a block of corporate reform legislation being assembled by Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee (Cantwell is not a member), which is where the Schumer-Cantwell bill has been referred.
Sen. Cantwell’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment.
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