Republicans torch Biden veto of bipartisan ESG bill: ‘Good luck explaining this one’
FIRST ON FOX: Republicans tore into President Biden’s first veto that stopped a bipartisan bill removing a new Labor Department rule encouraging retirement fiduciaries to consider environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues in their investments.
Biden’s first veto came against a bipartisan bill striking down the administration’s new rule promoting the woke ESG ideology, with the president saying his decision was due to heavy ‘MAGA Republican’ influence in the bill.
‘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,’ Biden announced in a Monday tweet.
Congressional Republicans, understandably, are not happy with the president’s move — especially bill architect Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky.
‘President Biden’s first veto is on a bipartisan, bicameral measure that I championed through Congress to protect retail investors,’ Barr told Fox News Digital. ‘Instead of siding with Americans—who are increasingly unable to afford retirement—Biden’s veto puts the climate activists and special interest groups he is beholden to ahead of middle-class American investors.’
‘It’s a shame, and it further reflects his priorities and who he really represents in office,’ Barr added.
Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind., also slammed the president’s veto, wishing Biden luck on ‘explaining this one’ to the American people.
‘Today President Biden used his first veto to reject bipartisan consensus in the House and Senate that Americans’ retirement savings should be invested to get the best return, not to support woke nonsense,’ Braun said.
‘Good luck explaining this one,’ he added.
GOP Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin joined his Indiana colleague in blasting the president’s move, saying ‘Biden administration’s reckless ESG rule proves nothing is off limits when it comes to Joe Biden’s radical green agenda – even Americans’ hard-earned retirement savings.’
‘During a time of record inflation, Biden wants to make matters worse by allowing climate activists to hijack investment returns,’ Mullin said. ‘It’s a shame.’
‘Despite bipartisan opposition, the president is doubling down on bad policy and leaving hard-working Americans to pay the price,’ he added.
Texas Republican Rep. Jodey Arrington ripped into the veto, saying that people ‘who invest our hard-earned money should be focused on financial value, not virtue signaling.’
‘This week, Congress passed a bipartisan bill to protect pensioners and retirees from activists who want to use their savings to advance a political agenda,’ Arrington said. ‘President Biden’s threat to veto this legislation shows that he’s more interested in placating the Radical Left than listening to the American people — and even Members of his own party in Congress.’
Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., torched Biden’s veto, telling Fox News Digital that ‘Biden’s woke ESG agenda is unfair to Americans and does nothing but drive American industry to other countries.’
‘Biden is once again putting his leftist agenda over supporting bipartisan work for Americans in Congress,’ Scott said.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew, R-N.J., a former Democrat who became a Republican, demolished Biden’s touting of a ‘bipartisan’ presidential image while he vetoes bipartisan legislation.
‘It’s ironic how President Biden touts about being a ‘bipartisan president’, then turns around and vetoes a bipartisan bill,’ Van Drew said. ‘There is Republican and Democrat opposition to the Labor Department’s harmful changes to the way Americans’ retirement funds are invested, yet this President does not care.’
‘It is abundantly clear, through President Biden issuing over 100 executive orders since taking office, that what Congress and the American people want comes secondary to his enactment of far-left policies,’ Van Drew continued.
‘He is threatening retirement accounts of millions of Americans, but as long as it fits into his ‘woke’ agenda, I guess that’s not important,’ the New Jersey congressman continued. ‘Doesn’t sound too bipartisan to me.’
Biden’s Monday veto came weeks after the president signaled he would strike down the measure that saw Republicans and Democrats join together in opposition to the Labor Department’s new rule.
The bill specifically ended enforcement of a new Labor Department rule urging private retirement plan fiduciaries to consider ESG in their investment decisions.
Under the rule, fiduciaries who make investment decisions for the retirement plans of more than 150 million people would be explicitly permitted under federal guidelines to consider companies’ approach to climate change and other social issues, instead of focusing on only profitability and return on investment for retirees.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, blasted Biden for the veto on Monday, saying Biden was placing ‘radical’ social agendas over the American people.
‘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,’ Manchin wrote in a statement. ‘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.’
‘President Biden is choosing to put his Administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people,’ he added.
It is unlikely Biden’s veto gets overturned by the legislative branch with the split chambers.
Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed reporting.