Biden Breaks Out Veto Pen for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Bill

President Joe Biden signs the American Rescue Plan, a coronavirus relief package, in the O
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

President Joe Biden is expected to issue the first veto of his term in the wake of Congress passing a resolution Wednesday to scrap his administration’s rule on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investing in retirement plans.

As Breitbart News reported, Republicans and moderate Democrats helped to pass a resolution that would nullify Biden’s ESG rule, or the Department of Labor’s “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” rule:

Two Senate Democrats, Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV), voted with Republicans to pass the resolution.

The resolution passed swiftly through the House on Tuesday. The resolution will soon go to Biden’s desk, where he is likely vto veto the bill. This would be the first veto of Biden’s presidency.

ESG is the latest vector through which the federal government, Wall Street asset managers, and activist investors push private companies to adopt leftist positions such as combatting climate change, advocating racial justice, and diversity requirements. Breitbart News has cataloged just a few of the incidents in which activist asset managers such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and State Street push companies to adopt controversial views.

Likewise, in the House, moderate Democrats also joined with Republicans in February to overturn a soft-on-crime bill that recently became law in the nation’s capital.

“The District’s criminal law, which reduced punishments for a variety of serious criminal offenses, was enacted by the District’s city council, which overrode the mayor’s veto — all while crime soared at the beginning of 2023,” noted Breitbart News. “According to the Metropolitan Police Department, homicides have dramatically increased (25 percent), along with vehicle theft (111 percent), theft from auto (21 percent), and theft (16 percent).”

Congress retains the ability to override local D.C. law if it issues a resolution of disapproval; it has not exercised that right in 30 years, signifying the deep divide on issues of crime.

The Senate could vote on this legislation as early as next week, but Biden announced Thursday, the day after this story was published, that he would not veto the bill if it did pass the Senate.

In its veto threat this week on the anti-ESG bill, the Biden administration said that undoing the ESG rule would “unnecessarily limit the options available to retirement plan participants and investors.”

Tester, who faces a tough reelection campaign in 2024, was one of the two who sided with Senate Republicans on the bill. Tester said in a statement the ESG rule puts too much of a burden on working families.

“At a time when working families are dealing with higher costs, from health care to housing, we need to be focused on ensuring Montanans’ retirement savings are on the strongest footing possible,” Tester said. “I’m opposing this Biden Administration rule because I believe it undermines retirement accounts for working Montanans and is wrong for my state.”

CORRECTION, MARCH 2: The White House has said Biden plans to veto the anti-ESG bill, which passed both the House and Senate as of Wednesday. While the White House has conveyed disapproval of the bill to overturn D.C.’s criminal code overhaul, it had made no indication about Biden’s veto plans on this bill until the president announced March 2 he would not veto the bill if it passed the Senate. This bill passed the House in February but has not passed the Senate at publication time. This story has been updated throughout to reflect this information.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.