Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to "Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers".
The intent here is to work towards removing SEC's rule, associated with Dodd-Frank, that requires US based resource extraction companies to disclose payments made to foreign governments as well as the US.
While it is seen as a redundant reporting burden by extraction companies (information available through their annual audits), this rule serves a valuable function for US citizens. The public natural resources of our country belong to all of us, and the government manages them on our behalf for the country's good. It's a simple matter of transparency in government for citizens to have easy access to the payments made by companies to our government. Without that, it is up to individuals to search through the audits of every company that does business with the US. Thus, the glaring question is whether the financial and labor burden on companies to report, and our government to store, data on these payments is actually so onerous that it outweighs a public good, in the form of transparent government.
As a matter of basic governance, congress needs to closely examine how much time and money is spent collecting the data before votes are cast. The resolution doesn't make a compelling case that corporate burden outweighs the public good of having access to information about payments to our government by resource extraction companies.
Unless study has been conducted and evidence collected that the burden of reporting this payment data is overly onerous to industry, this is a bill I am very disappointed that my representatives have chosen to support. A transparent government is the only viable option for a true democracy.