(LibertySociety.com) – Outside of the Biden administration and other climate justice conglomerates, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reception is mixed. Now the fight against it is ramping up, with a key Democrat leader mounting up an effort with Republicans to block a new rule from Biden’s Department of Labor. Senator Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, is joining every Republican in the Senate by unveiling legislation to block the rule, which they say has turned retirement plan investments political.
In November 2022, the Labor Department issued a press release announcing the rule, which aims to allow retirement plan managers to weigh ESG factors when making investment choices. The Secretary of Labor touted the rule as one that would help “plan participants make the most of their retirement benefits.”
According to Fox News, former Vice-President Mike Pence is joining the fight against the rule, whipping up 100 conservative groups and leaders to back the legislation with his Advancing American Freedoms political advocacy group. The group sent a letter to Congress dated February 7th, 2023, asking them to use the Congressional Review Act, which can be used to overturn the new rule within a sixty day period after they are issued. The letter states that trying to get US citizens to invest in ESG is both “politically inappropriate” and “financially irresponsible.” The letter also touts the Trump-Pence rule that restricted retirement fund managers from participating in things that could potentially financially harm their clients. Pence has been a vocal advocate against ESG, penning an article in the Wall Street Journal back in May of 2022.
Lawsuits against the Department of Labor have already been filed by Attorneys General from half of the states in the country to push back against the rule. According to the Washington Examiner, the lawsuit claims that Biden’s new rule violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This act makes sure that the main goal of retirement account investment managers should be to get the biggest return possible for their clients. Governor’s and State Treasurers are also mounting up a fight against ESG, issuing measures and proposing legislation to keep it out of state financial retirement investments.
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