Hensarling’s Bill Scorns “We the People”

Hensarling’s Bill Scorns “We the People”
Insults Irish-American unanimous support for Mac Bride Principles

CAPITOL HILL. Wednesday, April 26, 2017— As the Financial Services Committee,
Chaired by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), convened for a Hearing on the Financial Choice Act, Irish-Americans expressed outrage that the Act would eliminate shareholders’ advocacy for worthy causes, exclude 99% of the American public, and demonstrate wanton disrespect for Irish-Americans’ wholehearted support for the Mac Bride Principles.

The Mac Bride Principles are a corporate code of conduct for American companies doing business in Northern Ireland. The Principles—launched by the Irish National Caucus on November 5, 1984 — have been “signed” by 116 American companies, in large part because of shareholder resolutions; passed into law in 18 States and numerous cities and towns; and twice passed by the Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1998. The Principles have played—and continue to play — a key role in promoting equality and opposing Anti-Catholic discrimination in employment in Northern Ireland, thereby, making a vital contribution to the Irish peace process.

Irish-born Catholic priest, Fr. Sean Mc Manus is the President-Founder of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus. He said: “The proposed radical, extremist changes are a flagrant attack on America’s founding principle: ‘We the people.’ It would outrageously eliminate millions of citizens and the average American from having a say on the conduct of publicly held companies. The ordinary citizen, investor, consumer, and stakeholder are imperiously dismissed, deigning only the super rich with a say or a vote on shareholder resolutions/proposals. So, with the proposed changes, to submit a shareholder proposal to Wells Fargo, one would have to own $2.5 billion in shares, whereas, at present, one only needs to have owned $2,000 worth of shares for one year. It’s glorification of the super wealthy 1%, and disdain for the 99%.

Fr. Mc Manus concluded: “What American can possibly condone this? And what Member of Congress would vote for it— to take away the voice of the ordinary citizen, franchising only the mega rich?  It is undemocratic, un-American and surely ought to be the third rail of American politics for all Members of Congress.” END.


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