House Republicans will vote on legislation next week to kill the Biden administration’s controversial rule that allows trustees of private pension plans to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions for their clients.
THE Department of Labor The controversial rule, which took effect in February, has been derided by Republicans and dozens of trade associations in a bid to impose a welfare agenda on the more than 140 million Americans whose retirement plans are governed by standards set by the federal government.
For decades, these standards have stipulated that investment decisions should be guided by the objective of maximizing the return on those investments. However, the Biden Labor Department rule states that investment plan trustees can consider companies that prioritize climate change and other social issues when investing.
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House Republicans will use the Congressional Overhaul Act next week to try to stop Biden’s ESG Rule. This law allows Congress to reject any federal rule if the House and Senate can pass a resolution indicating that Congress disapproves of it.
Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., introduced a resolution to that effect in early February, and the House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet Monday to put that resolution to a vote in the House as early as Tuesday.
“Pension schemes should be solely focused on delivering maximum returns, not advancing a political agenda,” Barr said this month when he introduced the measure. “If Congress does not block the Department of Labor’s rule giving the green light to ESG investing in pension plans, retirees will experience diminished returns from investing their hard-earned money.”
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In early February, more than 100 groups organized by Advancing American Freedom (AAF), former Vice President Mike Pence’s political advocacy group, called on Congress to roll back the ESG rule. Groups on the letter included Heritage Action, America First Policy Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Climate Science Coalition of America, Club for Growth, Fair Energy Foundation, Faith & Freedom Coalition and the Foundation for Government Accountability.
“The Biden administration’s woke capital agenda must be set aside for common sense policies that protect America’s retirees,” AAF founder Pence told Fox News Digital. “The American people deserve to be held accountable for their hard-earned savings and reassured that ESG encroachment is being reversed.”
The Department of Labor defended its decision to allow pension plan managers to consider investing in companies “committed to positive environmental, social and governance actions”. Although the Labor Department acknowledges that these goals are not aimed at maximizing returns, the department also insists that the rule change would help the plan’s trustees “protect the savings of American workers” by allowing decisions to be made. ESG-based investing.
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House passage of the bill disapproving of ESG is all but assured in the GOP-led House, and while it’s unclear whether Democratic leaders in the Senate will pass it, the bill is supported. by at least half of the upper house. In early February, the 49 Republican senators and Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., proposed a Senate version of Barr’s legislation.
Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., said during the bill’s introduction that “the last thing we should be doing is encouraging trustees to make decisions with a lower rate of return for purely ideological reasons. “.
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“I am proud to join this bipartisan resolution to stop the proposed ESG rule from jeopardizing retirement income and protecting the hard-earned savings of American families,” Manchin said.
Fox News Digital’s Kelly Laco contributed to this report.