Joe Manchin Holds Nothing Back in Destroying Biden Over First Veto: 'Absolutely Infuriating'


Sen. Joe Manchin is angry.

As well he should be, given fellow Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential veto of a joint congressional resolution that would have made return on investment the main goal of your retirement savings instead of using your money in attempts to change the weather.

Rarely do Democrats get out of line, but Manchin has continually resisted the crush of his party. And moves like Biden’s veto hit close to home in Manchin’s energy-producing state of West Virginia.

The Republican-sponsored bill passed by both House and Senate would have restricted retirement fund money managers from using leftist pet causes under the banner of ESG — environmental, social and governance — as primary guides for investments.

Manchin called veto “infuriating.”

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“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,” the senator said Monday in a statement shared on Twitter.

“West Virginians are under increasing stress,” he declared, “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.”

One other Democrat joining Manchin in supporting the nullification of the ESG rule by the Department of Labor was Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

The nullification measure had passed 50-46 in the Senate and 216-204 in the House. With a split Senate and only a thin House majority, there is no way Republicans can rally the required two-thirds vote to override Biden’s veto.

ESG is a growing corporate objective dovetailing with the concept of serving “stakeholders.”

Stakeholders – communities, employees, suppliers, government entities and the like – have long been considered important participants in a company’s fulfillment of its mission.

But the most important obligation has been to stockholders – the owners of the company – and that includes a legal responsibility to put their interests first.

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So a company can make charitable donations to a community in which it is located, but it must be able to demonstrate that those charitable expenses are in the interests of the owners.

However, in recent years, corporations have put a higher priority on serving stakeholders enmeshed in ESG, with the unproven concepts of climate change, along with social justice efforts and diversification of corporate boards and management, among the most important corporate goals.

The recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank demonstrates where this can lead. SVB’s management seemed more concerned about its ESG efforts than solid investment strategies.

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Manchin, from a state heavy in natural gas and coal production, obviously is concerned with the environmental aspects of ESG.

“The ESG rule will weaken our energy, national and economic security while jeopardizing the hard-earned retirement savings of 150 million West Virginians and Americans,” he said in his statement.

“Despite a clear and bipartisan rejection of the rule from Congress, President Biden is choosing to put his Administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people,” Manchin said.

Biden’s veto of a fairly bipartisan bill contradicts the president’s claim of being a uniter, Steve Hilton, host of Fox News’ “The Next Revolution,” told Fox Business News.

“Because he, Biden, is totally controlled by the far-left activists who run the Democratic Party these days,” Hilton said. “That’s what this is. And it shows you, actually, how far things have gone. … Corporate America now is captured by these people.”

“Of course, it’s against the law,” he said. “The law is – that’s why they have to change it – it was about delivering shareholder returns, that’s the priority, that’s what it should all be about.”

Instead, he said, ESG “will force you to prioritize these political demands, these political activist requirements.”

“And that’s why it’s so wrong,” Hilton said. “That’s why this [vetoed] legislation is so right. But it’s unbelievable that Biden has to veto it because he’s so captive to the special interests, the activists in his party.”

But enough of the alarmism and dissent. Those Who Know Best have your retirement funds under control, ESG and all.

You might not have as much money for your retirement, but when the time comes, at least the weather might be nice.

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Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.
Mike Landry, PhD, is a retired business professor. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and church pastor. He writes from Northwest Arkansas on current events and business history.