Sentor Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) criticized President Joe Biden’s administration for vetoing the bipartisan legislation, which aimed to nullify a proposed regulation that would affect millions of savers’ retirement investments. Senator Manchin, one of the two Democratic Senators to vote with Republicans in opposition to the rule, condemned the administration’s radical agenda over the welfare of Americans and its impact on national security.
Sen. Manchin stated that “the administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges.” He questioned the administration’s motive in prioritizing such an agenda over “the economic, energy, and national security needs of our country.”
The senator believes such an ESG rule would decrease American security and retirement savings, putting millions of American savers in danger. He added, “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.”
The House resolution in opposition to the “Final Rule on Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights,” which became effective in January 2021, was passed 216-204, and the Senate’s vote was 50-46. President Biden vetoed the decision, with a two-thirds majority required in each chamber to override it.
The concept of ESG includes topics like climate change, critical race theory, and social justice, emphasizing policies to reduce fossil fuel production and establish identity, equity, and inclusion programs while implementing corporate gender and racial quotas.
Critics claim that it is not easy to demonstrate fund managers’ higher returns from ESG investments or define ESG criteria with precision, contending that ESG funds merely charge more for the label, without any real effect on returns. Some studies also reveal that ESG lowers returns.
Lawmakers who oppose the DOL rule believe that the standards push the political agenda on the left and have expressed concerns that investors and corporations that fall out of line with ESG standards may face bullying. They believe that President Biden seeks to use Wall Street to fund a far-left political agenda, which will be detrimental to seniors and workers, particularly after his reckless spending caused record inflation and rapid interest rate hikes.
Supporters of the ESG standards believe in letting free markets use ESG factors for investing, arguing against interference by politicians.
Joseph Lord, Savannah Hulsey Pointer, Nathan Worcester, and Kevin Stocklin contributed to this report.
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