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21 Mar US President Biden Vetoes Bill Limiting ESG Factors in Investments
On March 20, US President Joe Biden vetoed a Republican proposal aimed at preventing pension fund managers from taking into account environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions, as reported by Reuters on the same day. The veto comes after the US Congress passed a bill on March 1 to overturn a Labor Department rule that made it easier for fund managers to consider ESG issues for investments and shareholder rights decisions, such as through proxy voting. The rule was updated in December 2020 by the Biden administration to counter a Trump administration rule that limited the ability of retirement and pension plans to consider such issues.
Republican lawmakers argued that this would politicize investing and negatively affect financial performance. However, Biden cited concerns that the proposed legislation would put retirement savings across the country at risk. The issue highlights the ongoing debate surrounding ESG considerations in investment decisions and the potential impact on financial outcomes.