The party will be over for big businesses that push “woke” agendas once the Grand Old Party takes over the House next month, insiders told The Post.
Long viewed as the party of big business, fed-up Republicans will now lead committees and have subpoena power as they seek to punish investment firms that prioritize the environment over fossil fuels, as well as trying to rein in China’s outsized influence on the US economy, according to several sources interviewed by The Post.
“There is frustration with specific issues like woke capitalism but it’s also the case that the GOP sees Wall Street interests and big business interests generally aligned against Main Street . . . and the GOP wants to identify itself with the small business community,” James Lucier, managing director of Washington-based policy research firm Capital Alpha, told The Post.
Republicans, who gained a majority in the House for the first time since 2016, are also expected to look at the impact of free trade and outsourcing jobs on local communities, China’s monopoly on many rare earth minerals, and the Chinese companies that are listed on U.S. stock exchanges, according to insiders.
But the main flashpoint is expected to be over ESG. Republicans are furious over the hypocrisy of massive investment firms like BlackRock doing business with Chinese companies that flout environmental concerns even as they push for US companies to embrace net-zero carb emissions – at the expense of shareholders.
Republican-controlled states have already laid down the blueprint for targeting firms that tout ESG. Earlier the month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pulled $2 billion in state pension funds from BlackRock. That was followed by an activist investor calling for BlackRock CEO Larry Fink to step down.
DeSantis’s landslide reelection as governor was also bolstered after he went toe-to-toe with Disney over Florida’s so-called “Don’t-Say-Gay Law.” Disney’s criticism of the law led DeSantis to strip the company of its special tax privileges in the state.
In his victory speech last month, DeSantis – the presumptive GOP frontrunner to win back the White House in 2024, despite Donald Trump’s plans to run again – exclaimed, “We fight the woke in the corporations.”
Republicans have become increasingly frustrated with corporations that take stances antithetical to conservative values. Wall Street firms have tried to limit firearm sales and some companies have boycotted states with conservative policies on abortion after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
GOP insiders say the investigations into woke firms will help the party make inroads with small businesses ahead of the next presidential election.
“The GOP has the opportunity to become the party of the little guy again,” Alfredo Ortiz, President and CEO of Job Creators Network, told The Post. “Business has been associated with the GOP for a long time but this is an effort to make a clear separation between big and small business.”
The new Republican majority has a laundry list of other investigations on its to-do list. After being outvoted in two impeachments of President Trump, Republicans are expected to focus on Hunter Biden’s business dealings abroad — and whether they may have compromised Joe Biden.
The GOP is also expected to look into Biden’s tumultuous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Administration’s handling of immigrants pouring in from the Southern border and the origins of Covid-19.
“In just 47 days, House Republicans will have the gavel, and we will be prepared to hold the Biden administration accountable from day one,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted the week after Republicans officially won the House. “Our investigations are just getting started.”
McCarthy is expected to be elected Speaker, despite facing some opposition from his ranks, when the 118th US Congress meets to vote on Jan. 3.
While investigations into alleged corruption and mishandling of immigration is nothing new, targeting major corporations as part of investigations is a novel focus for a party that’s historically been pro-business.
“You’re seeing a divorce between the GOP and Wall Street,” Lucier said. “It’s a Trumpian shift from big business to a populist focus.”
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