Joe Biden issued his administration’s first veto Monday, stopping a proposal that sought to prohibit pension fund managers from using political movements such as that of ‘climate change’ and ‘social justice’ as motivators for investment decisions.
The Democrat-controlled Senate reportedly voted the bill through on March 1 with a final tally of 50-46. Prior to that, it cleared the House of Representatives on Feb. 28 after it gained the support of every Republican and one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME).
Given that overturning Biden’s veto necessitates a two-thirds majority of both legislative chambers in order it is very likely that pension fund managers will be allowed to continue investing American funds into environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) agendas.
Biden posted a video on Twitter announcing his move, curiously taking a swipe at conservative Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) while making no mention of people in his own party who supported the proposal.
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. pic.twitter.com/PxuoJBdEee
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 20, 2023
One such Democrat was Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who expressed his stringent opposition to ESG, proclaiming, “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.”
Manchin, who was one of two Democrat senators to vote for the bill, claimed the Biden administration is on an “unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) reacted to the news on Monday, saying, “President Biden’s first veto is against a bipartisan bill that protects retirement savings from political interference.”
He also stated, “It is clear that President Biden wants Wall Street to use your hard-earned money not to grow your savings, but to fund a far-left political agenda. That will hurt seniors and workers, especially after President Biden’s reckless spending caused record inflation and rapid interest rate hikes.”
The now essentially sunk proposal hoped to nix a policy permitting investors to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance factors when making investment decisions with the money of retirees.
Republicans have described ESG policies as “woke investing” or “woke capitalism.” Recent examples of this include House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer’s (R-KY) charge that Silicon Valley Bank was “one of the most woke banks” due to its “ESG-type” policies, and Florida Gov. Ron Desantis’ (R) announcement of an 18-state alliance to “push back against President Biden’s environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda” that many allege is harming the American economy and the global financial system.