The Senate voted Wednesday 50-46 to block a Labor Department rule allowing retirement fund managers to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investments.
Before the Biden administration submitted the ESG rule in November 2022, managers were only allowed to consider fiduciary factors when making investments. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may pass resolutions of disapproval to block executive orders, although the resolutions are subject to presidential veto.
“I really am okay with what you want to invest in as long as it’s going to push the best rate of return,” Republican Indiana Rep. Mike Braun, the resolution’s lead sponsor, said in a floor speech.
“Now, over the long run, if something changes, that’s different. But currently, this rule now allows the criterion of using those ESG goals, which would be simplified, being able to push a certain ideology, a certain point of view into how requirement earnings are invested.”
Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana voted with all 48 present Republicans to disapprove of the rule. The vote sets up the likely first veto of Joe Biden’s presidency.
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