OAN Brooke Mallory
UPDATED 3:58 PM – Monday, March 20, 2023
President Joe Biden vetoed a bill on Monday for the very first time in his presidency, disputing that the legislation was primarily influenced by “MAGA Republicans.”
Republican-led legislation has deterred the Biden administration from considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in investment decisions.
Republican lawmakers argue that ESG is a measure of a company’s loyalty to a “woke” cultural movement, and therefore should not be considered legitimate.
This news comes after Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) and 18 other states and their governors have decided to unite against ESG.
The bill explicitly ended enforcement of a new Department of Labor ruling that requires trustees of private pension plans to consider ESG in investment dealings.
“I just vetoed my first bill. This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don’t like. Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings – whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green likes it or not,” Biden said in a tweet on Monday.
Under this rule, fiduciaries making investment decisions for the retirement savings of more than 150 million people would, under federal guidelines, not solely focus on profitability or return on investment, but rather, first consider a company’s approach to climate change and other social issues.
On Monday, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) condemned Biden for using his veto power, saying that the president had put a “radical” social agenda ahead of the American people.
“This Administration continues to prioritize their radical policy agenda over the economic, energy and national security needs of our country, and it is absolutely infuriating… West Virginians are under increasing stress as we continue to recover from a once in a generation pandemic, pay the bills amid record inflation, and face the largest land war in Europe since World War II. The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges. President Biden is choosing to put his Administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people,” Manchin expressed.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer defended the rule, saying that Republicans are, “using the same tired attacks we’ve heard for a while now that this is more woke-ness… But republicans are missing or ignoring an important point: Nothing in the Labor Department rule imposes a mandate. This isn’t about ideological preference, it’s about looking at the biggest picture possible for investments to minimize risk and maximize returns,” said Schumer.
With Biden’s veto, the bill is now returning to Congress, however, it’s unlikely to get the two-thirds support needed to overturn the president’s veto.
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