On Monday, President Joe Biden vetoed a law for the first time in his term in office, citing the bill’s undue influence from “MAGA Republicans.”
Biden’s administration was unable to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations when making investment choices as a result of the Republican-led legislation. Republican legislators contend that ESG should not be included because it is a gauge of a company’s adherence to “woke” cultural movements.
“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 Greene likes it or not,” Biden said in a tweet on Monday.
I just vetoed my first bill.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 20, 2023
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 Greene likes it or not. pic.twitter.com/PxuoJBdEee
A recent Labor Department regulation urging private retirement plan fiduciaries to take ESG into account when making investing choices was expressly stopped by the law.
In accordance with the proposed rule, fiduciaries who make investment decisions for the retirement plans of more than 150 million people would be explicitly allowed by federal regulations to take into account how businesses address social issues such as climate change in addition to their financial performance and return on investment.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va said in a statement, “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.”
The measure has now returned to Congress as a result of Biden’s veto, but it is unlikely to obtain the two-thirds majority support needed to override the president’s veto.