Pres. Biden issues first veto blocking retirement investment resolution critical of ‘woke’ ideas


President Biden issued the first veto of his presidency on Monday, blocking a resolution that would have tossed what Republicans called a “woke” Department of Labor rule to weigh the effect of climate change and social factors when making investments.   Biden said in a tweet: “I just vetoed my first bill. This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don’t like. Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”

In a statement, Biden said: “There is extensive evidence showing that environmental, social, and governance factors can have a material impact on markets, industries, and businesses. But the Republican-led bill would force retirement managers to ignore these relevant risk factors, disregarding the principles of free markets and jeopardizing the life savings of working families and retirees. In fact, this bill would prevent plan fiduciaries from taking into account factors like the physical risks of climate change and poor corporate governance, that could affect investment returns.”

The resolution was introduced in the GOP-led House by Republican Rep. Andy Barr and passed in late February. The Senate soon voted 50 to 46 to overturn the rule, with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Jon Tester joining Republicans in support. House GOP leaders intend to hold a vote on overriding the president’s veto, which would require the support of two thirds of both chambers. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said in a statement: “President Biden’s first veto is against a bipartisan bill that protects retirement savings from political interference. It is clear that President Biden wants Wall Street to use your hard-earned money not to grow your savings, but to fund a far-left political agenda. That will hurt seniors and workers, especially after President Biden’s reckless spending caused record inflation and rapid interest rate hikes.”

Editorial credit: Salma Bashir Motiwala /

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