President Joe Biden has issued his first veto since taking office, signaling a shift in White House relations with the new Congress, led by Republicans. According to Associated Press White House correspondent Zeke Miller, the vetoed measure would have prohibited the government from considering environmental impacts or potential lawsuits when making investment decisions for Americans’ retirement plans.
This does not tell the full story. The bill specifically targets environmental, social, and governance investments (ESG), which routinely pushes for unprofitable and often discriminatory initiatives such as giving more or less funds to a company based on its racial makeup.
The measure, which was passed by Republicans, would have brought back the Trump-era policy of banning federal retirement plan managers from considering factors such as climate change, social impacts, or pending lawsuits when making investment decisions. The Biden administration claims these investments are necessary due to the financial repercussions of lawsuits and climate change, while critics argue that ESG investments are based on political agendas rather than on maximizing returns for savers.
Republicans have argued that ESG is part of the “woke” agenda. Biden, however, has argued that this measure would put the retirement savings of individuals across the country at risk.
Only two Democrats in the Senate voted for the measure, making it unlikely that Congress would be able to override the veto.