Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has accused Joe Biden of prioritizing a “radical policy agenda” over the economic needs of Americans after Biden’s veto of a bipartisan ESG bill. The legislation was aimed at preventing the president’s administration from enforcing a rule regarding Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) investments for retirement accounts. Manchin was one of two Democratic senators who voted with Republicans on the ESG investing rules.
“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,” Manchin said.
“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.”
“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,” he added.
The vetoed bill would have prevented the enforcement of a new Labor Department rule that urged private retirement plan fiduciaries to consider ESG factors in their investment decisions. The rule would have allowed fiduciaries who make investment decisions for over 150 million people’s retirement plans to consider companies’ approach to climate change and other social issues, in addition to profitability and return on investment for retirees.
Congressional Republicans, including Representative Andy Barr of Kentucky, who drafted the legislation, also expressed dissatisfaction with Biden’s decision to veto the bill.