Tester and Manchin defied Biden’s threat to veto the rollback, which targets a new Labor Department rule that allows retirement plan managers to incorporate climate and social factors into investment decisions. Republicans have criticized the regulation — which itself reversed a Trump-era rule discouraging environmentally and socially focused investing — as a threat to retirement savers because it would allow political forces to take precedence over returns.
“At a time when working families are dealing with higher costs, from health care to housing, we need to be focused on ensuring Montanans’ retirement savings are on the strongest footing possible,” Tester said in a statement. “I’m opposing this Biden Administration rule because I believe it undermines retirement accounts for working Montanans and is wrong for my state.”
The fact that Republicans are poised to push the measure through a divided Congress underscores the growing political momentum behind their crusade against what they deride as “woke” business practices. Conservative officials at the state and federal level are increasingly attacking big corporations for embracing social and environmental causes. It’s a push that Democrats in red states and swing districts are finding they’re unable to ignore.
Republicans took advantage of procedures under the Congressional Review Act that allow lawmakers to nullify recently issued rules with simple majority votes, avoiding the Senate filibuster.
The Biden administration said in its veto threat this week that undoing the DOL rule would “unnecessarily limit the options available to retirement plan participants and investors.”
Biden’s threat in a way gives moderate Democrats a free pass to distance themselves from the president because they don’t face the risk of the rollback actually being implemented.
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