GOP Sens. Johnson, Toomey call on GAO to withdraw global warming retirement savings report

The Senators say that the report was based on information compiled by a subcommittee full of members with conflicts of interest

Updated: October 22, 2021 - 6:34pm

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GOP Sens. Ron Johnson and Pat Toomey are calling on the Government Accountability Office to withdraw a recent report that linked the threat of global warming to federal worker retirement savings.

Johnson, of Wisconsin, and Toomey, of Pennsylvania, argued Thursday that the report was based heavily on information that had been unlawfully issued by a federal advisory subcommittee comprised of members with conflicts of interest.

"We have significant concerns about GAO's reliance on the subcommittee report given that the report was issued in violation of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the regulations issued thereunder, and MRAC's charter," wrote the lawmakers.

"The report acknowledges that it reflects solely the work of the subcommittee and does 'not necessarily reflect the views of the MRAC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or its staff, or the U.S. Government.' The subcommittee is composed of a number of individuals who represent entities poised to benefit financially from the creation of a climate risk regulatory structure, such as asset managers, data providers, and Wall Street banks," they continued.

In June, the GAO published a report that recommended that the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board evaluate federal retirees' investment offerings in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for risks related to global warming. That GAO report drew heavily on the opinions presented by the advisory subcommittee to the CFTC. 

The senators are asking GAO to withdraw its report and recommendation that was predicated on a report that violated FACA.

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