(PresidentialDaily.org)- On Monday, President Joe Biden issued his first veto during his time in the White House, overturned a bipartisan bill that was passed to strike down a rule issued by the Labor Department in regard to how fiduciaries could take ESG into account when making investment decisions.
Instead of being celebrated, though, Biden’s veto decision has been met with tons of outrage from both sides of the political aisle.
The Labor Department rule in question would encourage fiduciaries of retirement plans to consider ESG in the investments they make. ESG stands for environmental, social and corporate governance. Essentially, the rule was passed to encourage these fiduciaries to push one of the Biden administration’s biggest policies – trying to combat global warming and be more environmentally friendly.
Following the announcement that Biden would issue the veto, a member of his own party – Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia – blasted him, saying:
“President Biden is choosing to put his administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people.”
Biden announced that he would be vetoing the bill through a video he posted to Twitter. In it, he blamed “MAGA Republicans” for passing the bill in the first place. He said in the video:
“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 Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”
Congress has the ability to overturn Biden’s veto, but it’s very unlikely that they’d be able to do so. The only way it can happen is if a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate vote to override the presidential veto, and that’s not likely to happen with how many Democrats in both chambers voted against the bill in the first place.
That didn’t stop many people from criticizing Biden’s decision to veto the bill. For example, Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican presidential hopeful, tweeted:
“The fact that Biden’s first veto is about promoting ESG reveals the problem: this isn’t the invisible hand of the ‘free market.’ It’s the invisible fist of the government. Don’t fall for their trick.”
Tommy Pigott, the rapid response director for the GOP agreed, pointing out in a tweet of his own:
“The people who manage your retirement savings should only have one thing to consider: Your retirement security. Once again Biden is prioritizing far-left special interests over the economic well-being of the American people.”
Pigott has an excellent point. The whole idea behind a fiduciary is that they are legally obligated to put their clients’ interests above everything else – their own ideology or any specific agenda. Biden vetoing this bill essentially changes the job of a fiduciary, in that it encourages them to invest in ESG projects on behalf of their clients, even if doing so wouldn’t necessarily be the best decision for them economically.