Phillips Introduces Honest Enterprises Act to Reward Ethics, Sustainability, and Trust in Business

June 24, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03) introduced the HONEST Enterprises Act, legislation that would incentivize responsible corporate governance and reward businesses that go above and beyond to care for their employees and make a difference in their communities. Informed by Phillips’s 25-year career in the private sector, the bill was first proposed at the New Democrat Coalition’s inaugural economic policy pitch day in 2019, where it received first prize.

In the face of rising income inequality, global climate change, and the devastating aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic, policymakers and community leaders nationwide are recognizing the need to create a more equitable and sustainable economy where all can prosper. To that end, the HONEST Enterprises Act would create a new award at the Department of Commerce to honor companies that meet benchmarks in pay equity, diversity and inclusion, environmental consciousness, and community reinvestment.

“For too long we have emphasized the right of businesses to make a profit, but not the rights of workers to share in the earnings they help generate,” said Rep. Phillips. “It is time that we reward the kind of behavior we want to see: businesses that are going above the call of duty to be responsible corporate citizens, build strong relationships with their communities, and develop consumer and worker trust. The HONEST Enterprises Act is an important step on that road toward a more just and inclusive capitalism.”

ICYMI from Roll Call on June 14, 2021:  “A kinder, gentler capitalism? These lawmakers think it can work. Phillips, Houlahan roll out caucus devoted to stakeholder capitalism caucus

A champion of equitable economic growth since elected to Congress in 2018, Phillips is the co-founder of the Congressional Stakeholder Capitalism Caucus – a new coalition of Members who are reimagining the role of American corporations to foster inclusion, generate longer-lasting growth, and benefit stakeholders more widely and equitably.  The group’s mission is continuing to spread; last week the House passed a robust package of legislation aimed at enhancing responsible corporate governance, including a Phillips-authored amendment that would require the SEC to study the emergence of shareholder collective action and its role in preserving and promotion of environmental, social and governance standards.