(UnitedVoice.com) – The first two years of President Joe Biden’s administration were pretty easy for him. He had a majority in both the Senate and the House, which meant he never had to worry about lawmakers passing legislation that he didn’t support. It also allowed him to pass many of his important agenda items, including some of them with bipartisan support.
In January, a new day dawned on Capitol Hill. Biden lost his House majority in the 2022 midterms, and when the 118th Congress took its seat, it was game over for the president’s agenda. After just a few months of the new congressional makeup, he has issued his first veto.
On March 1, the Senate passed a measure to overturn a Labor Department rule that allowed retirement fund managers to consider things like climate change when making decisions about where to invest for pension plan participants. The environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment policies have been a major target for the GOP, which wants to get rid of “woke capitalism.” The Biden Administration rule got rid of a rule by former President Donald Trump that forced managers to only consider investment decisions that have the largest returns.
Two Democratic senators, Joe Manchin (WV) and Jon Tester (MT), voted with Republicans to pass the legislation 50-46. The same bill had passed the House the day before.
Biden Vetoes Bill
On Monday, March 20, Biden issued his first presidential veto targeting the attempt to over attempt to block his ESG rule. In an announcement on Twitter, the president said he did so because he said it would protect the retirement savings of Americans across the country. He went on to say that fund managers “should be able to protect your hard-earned savings.”
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. pic.twitter.com/PxuoJBdEee
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 20, 2023
Reuters reported that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) slammed Republicans for passing the measure in the first place. He said they were attempting to interfere with the private investing choices of the American people. He said they wanted to force “their own views down the throats of every company and every investor.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also issued a statement. He said the president was trying to use the money Americans had saved to push a “far-left political agenda.” The Republican said the president’s ESG rule would “hurt seniors and workers.”
Manchin attacked Biden when he vetoed the bill, saying the president put his own agenda before the American people.
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