Within Minutes of Biden's First Presidential Veto, The House Has Struck Back
House Republicans will fight President Joe Biden’s veto of a bill that would wipe away a rule encouraging investment managers for retirement plans to make environmental, social and governance factors a consideration in investment decisions.
The rule developed by the Department of Labor encourages managers who oversee private retirement plans to consider how companies deal with climate change and other issues in making investments. The rule frees those managers from only focusing on the bottom line, according to Fox News.
In response, the House and Senate passed a measure that would eliminate that rule.
Biden vetoed the bill on Monday, in what was his first veto as president. He posted on Twitter that “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.
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
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy fired back instantly on Twitter, saying Biden “just sided with woke Wall Street over workers.”
In his first veto, Biden just sided with woke Wall Street over workers. Tells you exactly where his priorities lie.
Now—despite a bipartisan vote to block his ESG agenda—it’s clear Biden wants Wall Street to use your retirement savings to fund his far-left political causes.
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 20, 2023
McCarthy also attacked Biden’s veto in a statement.
“President Biden’s first veto is against a bipartisan bill that protects retirement savings from political interference. 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,” McCarthy said.
Republicans have a steep hill to climb to override the veto. An override requires a two-thirds majority. The initial House vote to pass the bill was 216-204 with 13 members not voting. Getting two-thirds of the 435-member House would require at least 291 votes. In the Senate, the bill to block the ESG rule passed 50-46. Overriding the veto would require 67 senators to side with the GOP against Biden.
Joe Biden’s first veto as president: letting retirement fund managers prioritize ESG scams over the best-performing investments.
Why is he playing games with working people’s retirement money? https://t.co/KaAex5TMDy
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) March 20, 2023
Biden’s first veto is a reflection of his admin’s failed tenure: allowing financial managers to prioritize a woke, ESG agenda over ensuring the best return for your retirement savings.
I’ll be voting to override the president’s veto of this important bill later this week.
— Congressman Ben Cline (@RepBenCline) March 20, 2023
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who along with Democratic Sen. John Tester of Montana were the only Democrats to side with Republicans in passing the bill, said in a statement that with the veto, Biden “continues to prioritize their radical policy agenda over the economic, energy and national security needs of our country, and it is absolutely infuriating.”
“The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges. This ESG rule will weaken our energy, national and economic security while jeopardizing the hard-earned retirement savings of 150 million West Virginians and Americans,” Manchin said.
“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.”
Biden’s veto message claimed that there was “extensive evidence showing that environmental, social and governance factors can have a material impact on markets, industries and businesses,” according to the White House.
“But the Republican-led resolution would force retirement managers to ignore these relevant risk factors, disregarding the principles of free markets and jeopardizing the life savings of working families and retirees. In fact, this resolution would prevent retirement plan fiduciaries from taking into account factors, such as the physical risks of climate change and poor corporate governance, that could affect investment returns,” the veto message said.
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