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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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Politics

Senators react after vote to block Biden’s ESG investing rule

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Ray Bogan

Political Correspondent

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The Senate voted 50-46 to overturn a Labor Department rule on ESG investing. Two Democrats joined 48 Republicans in the vote against the rule that allows retirement plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance factors as they make investment decisions for their clients.

“People should not have their retirement funds diminished to meet a social agenda. People who are managing retirement funds should do so the way to maximize the returns for the people who’ve invested,” Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, said. “You look to the boards of corporations and the chief executives to make the right decisions with regards to ESG. But to say to people who are managing the money for retirees, that they aren’t responsible for the return on investment would be a big mistake.”

The House already voted to overturn the rule which took effect Feb. 1. President Joe Biden said he will veto the bill.

The Trump administration had imposed a rule that required investors to only consider financial factors when considering investments. But under the Biden Administration, the Labor Department said there are times when ESG could be financially beneficial.

“What’s important here is that this is no mandate. You know, the business community has always been concerned about the government setting in place requirements and restrictions that produce extra costs. This is voluntary. And I think it is a useful tool,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, said.

In January, 25 Republican-led states filed a lawsuit to block the rule. They argued it violates U.S. law by failing to protect retirement assets under an employee benefit plan. The suit is still making its way through the courts. 

“The thing that the fiduciaries, the people who are responsible for investing your retirement savings should be focused on is maximizing the, your retirement, and not on trying to pursue some social engineering agenda,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Cornyn also responded to critics who say the government should stay out of people’s investment decisions.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing by trying to eliminate these kinds of woke social engineering policies from investment decisions, is, that’s that’s government intervention. What we’re trying to do is keep the government out of your business,” Cornyn said.

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 Ray: “Can we get your reaction to the ESG vote last night?” 

The Senate voted 50-46 to overturn a Labor Department rule on ESG investing. Two Democrats joined all 48 Republicans to disapprove the measure. The rule allows retirement plan fiduciaries to consider climate change and other environmental, social and governance factors as they make investment decisions for their clients. 

Sen. Mitt Romney: “People should not have their retirement funds diminished to meet a social agenda. People who are managing retirement funds should do so the way to maximize the returns for the people who’ve invested. And that’s a you look to the boards of corporations and the chief executives to to make the right decisions with regards to ESG. But to say to people who are managing the money for retirees, they aren’t responsible for the return on investment would be a big mistake.” 

The House already voted to overturn the rule which took effect February 1. President Biden said he will veto the bill. 

Sen. Ron Wyden: “What’s important here is that this is no mandate. You know, the business community has always been concerned about the government setting in place requirements and restrictions that produce extra costs. This is voluntary. And I think it is a useful tool.” 

Sen. John Cornyn: “This is basically to avoid, avoid the government imposing the woke policies on your investments. The thing that the fiduciaries, the people who are responsible for investing your retirement savings should be focused on is maximizing the your your retirement, and not on trying to pursue some social engineering agenda.”

Cornyn also responded to critics who say the government should stay out of people’s investment decisions.

Cornyn: “Well, we, we are that’s that’s exactly what we’re doing by trying to eliminate these kinds of woke social engineering policies from investment decisions, is, that’s that’s government intervention. What we’re trying to do is keep the government out of your business.”