CHARLESTON, W.Va. –
President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his presidency Monday in an early sign of shifting White House relations with the new Congress since Republicans took control of the House in January — a move that serves as a prelude to bigger battles with GOP lawmakers on government spending and the nation’s debt limit.
Biden sought to kill a Republican-authored measure that would ban the government from considering environmental impacts or potential lawsuits when making investment decisions for people’s retirement plans. In a video released by the White House, Biden said he vetoed the measure because it “put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country.”
His first veto represents a more confrontational approach at the midway of Biden’s term in office, as he faces a GOP-controlled House that is eager to undo parts of his policy legacy and investigate his administration and his family. Complicating matters for Biden, several Democratic senators are up for re-election next year in conservative states, Including Senator Joe Manchin giving them political incentive to put some distance between them and the White House. Governor Jim Justice has hinted at a possible run against Manchin in the 2024 election.
West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore strongly condemned President Joe Biden’s veto
“With his first veto, President Biden has made clear he stands with the woke capitalists and their radical globalist agenda instead of the best interests and financial security of the American people,” Treasurer Moore said. “This rule will allow Wall Street elites to use the pension and retirement plans of millions of hard-working Americans to advance left-wing social agendas that undermine our citizens’ values and way of life.
“A bipartisan majority in Congress spoke loud and clear that they thought this rule was harmful and went too far, yet President Biden chose to ignore the will of the people’s elected representatives. Congress is supposed to write the laws in this country, not unelected agency bureaucrats serving deep-state agendas.”
In November, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule that gives investment managers broad discretion to consider ESG factors in their retirement plan products – repealing protections against the practice that had been put in place under the Trump Administration.
Treasurer Moore opposed the new rule at the time, and joined with more than 100 organizations and officials to endorse federal legislation spearheaded by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., to block the new rule.
A coalition of 25 state Attorneys General, including West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, is also challenging the rule in court.