“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,” stated Manchin, who is up for reelection this cycle.
Manchin was referring to Biden issuing his first veto on Monday to reject a bipartisan bill, H.R. 30, that would nullify his Labor Department rule allowing left-wing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies to be considered in retirement investing.
“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,” Manchin continued. “The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges.”
Ultimately, the Biden Labor Department rule enables fund managers to weigh climate change and prioritize ESG initiatives, a form of leftist activism in financial investing, when selecting retirement investments and exercising shareholder rights, such as proxy voting. It was also a rollback of a rule made under former President Donald Trump to protect Americans’ retirement plans.
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The legislation passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and the Democrat-controlled Senate to get to the president’s desk. In the Senate, Manchin and Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) joined Republicans in passing the legislation opposing the rule.
“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,” the West Virginia senator stated. “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.”
Before Biden officially vetoed the legislation, the White House said the president would reject it if it were to pass Congress. The House has already scheduled a vote to override Biden’s veto on March 23; however, with the slim majority in Congress, it is unlikely that Congress can override Biden’s veto because it would require two-thirds support from both chambers.
In addition to Manchin, West Virginia state Treasurer Riley Moore — who has been leading the charge on the state level against ESG rules in addition to already announcing he would be running for Congress in 2024 — slammed the president for making it “clear” that he “stands with the woke capitalists and their radical globalist agenda instead of the best interests and financial security of the American people.”
“A bipartisan majority in Congress spoke loud and clear that they thought this rule was harmful and went too far, yet President Biden chose to ignore the will of the people’s elected representatives,” Moore further explained. “Congress is supposed to write the laws in this country, not unelected agency bureaucrats serving deep-state agendas.”
“This rule will allow Wall Street elites to use the pension and retirement plans of millions of hard-working Americans to advance left-wing social agendas that undermine our citizens’ values and way of life,” the state treasurer added.