On Monday, President Joe Biden signed the first veto of his administration — stopping a bipartisan bill that would have protected the American people’s savings accounts from woke Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) investing.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy has released a statement condemning Biden for derailing the bill — which would have prohibited pension fund managers from considering woke factors such as climate change and social justice when investing.
“President Biden’s first veto is against a bipartisan bill that protects retirement savings from political interference,” McCarthy said in a statement on Monday.
“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,” he added.
The legislation passed the House on February 28 with every Republican supporting it, with only one Democrat joining them, Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME). The bill also passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate on March 1, receiving 50 votes in favor and 46 against.
As the process to override a presidential veto requires a two-thirds majority of both chambers of Congress, it is unlikely that lawmakers will be able to muster the support needed to end ESG investing.
Despite the fact that the bill received bipartisan support, Biden attacked so-called “MAGA House Republicans” in his explanation for the veto — specifically mentioning one of the left’s favorite targets: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
“I just vetoed my first bill,” the president tweeted on Monday afternoon.
“This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don’t like,” he falsely claimed.
“Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not,” Biden added.
The president’s tweet included a video of himself signing paperwork, with a title on the video that states: “President Biden vetoes extreme MAGA limitations on retirement funds.”
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 of two Democrat senators who voted in favor of the bill was moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who spoke out against the president’s decision to prioritize radical leftist policies over the needs of Americans.
“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 said.
My statement on @POTUS's veto of the bipartisan Congressional resolution to nullify the Administration’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) rule which prioritizes politics over getting the best financial returns for millions of Americans’ retirement investments pic.twitter.com/wLhjKo19J4
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 20, 2023
The moderate Democrat went on to note that the Biden administration is engaged in an “unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda” that exacerbates economic problems caused by Biden’s leadership.
The bill vetoed by Biden was designed to reverse a rule that allows pension fund managers to take ESG factors into account when investing retirees’ funds — a process that Republicans refer to as “woke investing” or “woke capitalism.”
Many have attributed the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) to ESG policies, with House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer (R-KY) referring to SVB as “one of the most woke banks” because of its “ESG-type” policies.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has announced an 18-state alliance to “push back against President Biden’s environmental, social, corporate governance (ESG) agenda that is destabilizing the American economy and the global financial system.”
Biden's veto is why I formed an alliance of freedom-loving states to combat the threat posed by ESG.
Now with Virginia, our 20-state coalition will protect our citizens against powerful economic actors using their financial might to impose an ideological agenda. https://t.co/3YSZl712EE
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 20, 2023
In a joint statement on March 16, the 18 states wrote: “We as freedom loving states can work together and leverage our state pension funds to force change in how major asset managers invest the money of hardworking Americans, ensuring corporations are focused on maximizing shareholder value, rather than the proliferation of woke ideology.”
According to information from Investopedia, ESG factors can include policies such as divesting from fossil fuels, supporting the LGBT agenda, forcing diversity within companies’ boards and fighting climate change.