The resolution’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Andy Barr of Kentucky, said on Fox and Friends on Tuesday that the votes will demonstrate to the public “whether members of Congress are prioritizing the pensions of their people or their own progressive political agenda.”
The majority of Americans, he asserted, “whether you’re Republican or Democrat, don’t want politics to be a factor in distributing their resources and determining whether or not they will have a safe retirement.”
The votes this week mark the most recent development in the GOP’s populist shift toward corporate America. Republicans in both the state and federal government are criticizing Wall Street for its inherited judgments using government instruments rather than protecting money managers’ freedom to market investment products as they see fit.
related to social and environmental objectives. It has changed the formerly cordial relationship between big business and the Republican Party by forcing them to play defense in Washington and state legislatures around the nation.
The Biden administration made an effort late last year to explain that pension plan managers can take environmental, social, and governance considerations into consideration when making investment decisions. This effort resulted in the Labor Department rule that Republicans are requesting this week. The rule was created to undo Trump administration initiatives that aimed to discourage ESG investing.
Republicans believe that the rule opens the door to the politicization of investing at the expense of returns, even though it does not mandate that social and environmental issues be taken into consideration in retirement plans. Conservatives and GOP lawmakers have accepted this criticism in large numbers.
The new Labor Department rule would allow savvy wealth managers to use the nearly $11.7 trillion in assets in the retirement accounts of over 150 million Americans to fund the left’s political agenda,” said Jessica Anderson, Executive Director from Heritage Action, in a statement.
The Biden administration and most Democrats in Congress are fighting back. The giant union organization AFL-CIO is among dozens of outside groups lobbying Congress to vote against the Republican resolution, arguing that incorporating ESG factors into investments “helps protect working people’s hard-earned pensions to protect”.
The White House said in a statement Monday that a return to more restrictive Trump-era policies would “unnecessarily limit the options available to pension plan participants and investors.”
Despite opposition, the GOP effort has begun to garner support and attention from Democrats up for re-election in 2024 in conservative-leaning states. That means Republicans may only need one Democrat alongside Manchin to pass the proposal in the Senate. The Congressional Review Act, the law that allows lawmakers to overturn executive branch actions, provides an expedited process that requires only a simple majority to reverse recently promulgated regulations like the DOL Rule.