Pavlich: Biden’s moderate facade comes down again
This week, President Biden issued his first veto and proudly announced the move on Twitter.
“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,” Biden wrote on Twitter. “Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”
Biden’s tweet makes it sound like the bill that hit his desk — which would have reversed an environmental, social and governance (ESG) Labor Department rule allowing retirement account managers to consider climate impacts when investing funds in companies — was only passed by Republicans who have a majority in the House but a minority in the Senate. In reality, it was passed with bipartisan support by Democrats and Republicans concerned about retirement managers using climate ideology, rather than sound economics, to manage hard-earned funds.
“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. 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,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who was joined by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in voting to block the rule, said about the veto.
“The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges,” Manchin continued. “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. 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.”
Outside of Capitol Hill and on the 2024 campaign trail, the lack of context in Biden’s tweet was also noticed.
“This is a deeply dishonest framing of what Biden did today. Before Biden’s Dept of Labor rule change, retirement fund managers could consider *only* investment returns. Now, Biden permits them to take into account ‘collateral benefits other than investment return’ including factors like ‘climate change.’ They want to use your retirement accounts to push agendas that most Americans never voted for. This is dangerous for both capitalism & democracy,” entrepreneur and Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy wrote in reaction to Biden’s framing.
Much like bipartisan lawmakers voted to protect the retirement accounts of constituents, in recent months, a number of states have withdrawn taxpayer investment funds from firms like BlackRock — which are prioritizing ESG investing — citing the need to protect their local economies and industries.
“Your blatantly anti-fossil fuel policies would destroy Louisiana’s economy,” Louisiana Treasurer John Schroder (R) wrote in an October 2022 letter to BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, announcing the state’s divestment of $800 million from the firm. “This divestment is necessary to protect Louisiana from actions and policies that would actively seek to hamstring our fossil fuel sector. In my opinion, your support of ESG investing is inconsistent with the best economic interests and values of Louisiana.”
Florida followed suit in December with plans to divest $2 billion from BlackRock over ESG policies.
“Using our cash … to fund BlackRock’s social-engineering project isn’t something Florida ever signed up for. It’s got nothing to do with maximizing returns and is the opposite of what an asset manager is paid to do. Florida’s Treasury Division is divesting from BlackRock because they have openly stated they’ve got other goals than producing returns,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R) said in a statement.
Biden campaigned on bringing lawmakers in Washington, D.C., together for the good of all Americans. He claimed to be a deal-maker not driven by ideology, but by agreement on tough issues. And yet, he used his first veto to reject bipartisan legislation in order to appease the left, whose dangerous climate zealotry and retirement investment ideas will destroy the country and the savings of hardworking Americans. Worse, Biden’s explanation of the veto is dishonest and fails to mention the facts about bipartisan cooperation to quash the dangerous ESG rule.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.
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