Manchin calls Biden administration priorities ‘absolutely infuriating’ after ESG veto

·2 min read

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) teed off on President Biden’s decision earlier on Monday to veto a bill that would have nixed a Labor Department rule on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

Manchin, who was one of two Senate Democrats to vote with Republicans to overturn the rule on March 1, called Biden’s decision “absolutely infuriating” in a statement and panned the administration for putting its “radical” and “progressive agenda” ahead of the country’s needs.

“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,” said Manchin, who is up for reelection next year. “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. 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 continued. “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.”

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.) was the lone other Democrat to vote with Senate Republicans to do away with the rule earlier this month.

The ESG rule in question says that money managers can factor in climate change and other related factors when making decisions for retirement investments. Conservatives have criticized the rule, calling it “woke” and saying that it infringes on the ability to invest dollars how they want to.

According to the Biden administration, the Trump-era directive discouraged consideration of ESG factors “even in cases where it is in the financial interest of plans to take such considerations into account.”

The House voted to do away with the rule, 216-204, with one House Democrat voting with Republicans. The Senate passed the measure in a 50-46 vote.

Those numbers are well below the two-thirds majority needed to override Biden, meaning the veto is likely to stick. It’s the first of Biden’s career as president.

“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 tweeted announcing the veto, referring to the GOP congresswoman from Georgia.

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