Sen. Joe Manchin Slams Biden's 'Radical Policy Agenda' After Vetoing ESG Bill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has slammed Joe Biden’s “radical policy agenda” after the president vetoed a bipartisan Congressional resolution nullifying the Administration’s environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) rule.


Manchin, who is widely considered the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said that the ESG rule “prioritizes politics over getting the best financial returns for millions of Americans’ retirement investments.”

His statement read:

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.

The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges. 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.

Republican lawmakers led the effort to pass the resolution through Congress, arguing the rule is a “woke” policy that pushes a left-wing agenda on Americans and will damage retirees’ bottom lines.

The resolution, which would rescind a Department of Labor rule, passed both chambers of Congress after Manchin and Montana Senator Jon Tester voted with Republicans in the Senate.


Biden responded in a video posted to social media on Monday by claiming he vetoed the resolution on nothing more than financial grounds.

“I just signed this veto because legislation passed by the Congress would put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country,” he said in a video. “They couldn’t take into consideration investments that wouldn’t be impacted by climate, impacted by overpaying executives, and that’s why I decided to veto it – it makes sense to veto it.”

“This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don’t like,” his Twitter post read. “Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Biden’s arguments. “This isn’t about ideological preference, it’s about looking at the biggest picture possible for investments to minimize risk and maximize returns,” he said, adding that it is “literally allowing the free market to do its work.”


Other opponents argue it politicizes retirement investments and that the Biden administration is weaponizing it as a way to push its liberal agenda.

“What’s happened here is the woke and weaponized bureaucracy at the Department of Labor has come out with new regulations on retirement funds, and they want retirement funds to be invested in things that are consistent with their very liberal, left-wing agenda,” said Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) at a news conference earlier this year.

The bill is the first piece of legislation vetoed by Biden over the course of his presidency. Yet with Republicans recently taking control of the House of Representatives, one can likely expect the president to veto more pieces of legislation in the coming weeks and months.


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