News Story

Congress rebuffs ESG investing, but Biden expected to veto bill

How the Michigan delegation voted on allowing retirement funds to be used for ESG investing

On back-to-back days, the U.S. House and Senate passed a resolution expressing congressional disapproval of changing a federal requirement to open the way for financial firms to use environmental and social goals as they decide how to invest their customers’s retirement funds.

Read the CapCon primer: What you need to know about ESG investing

President Joe Biden opposes the measure, according to Reuters, which says:

A Republican bill to prevent pension fund managers from basing investment decisions on factors like climate change cleared Congress on Wednesday, setting up a confrontation with President Joe Biden, who is expected to veto the measure.

The Labor Department says that current requirements should be changed. The ban on using nonfinancial factors inhibits managers from using “climate change and other ESG factors in investment decisions,” according to an announcement in the Federal Register.

The 118th Congress has not passed a bill into law yet. If Biden issues a veto, House Resolution 30 won’t be the first.

The bill passed 50-46 in the Senate, with four senators not voting. Every member of Congress from Michigan voted.

Both senators from Michigan, Democrats Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow, voted no. Two Senate Democrats, John Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted yes, making it a bipartisan effort.

The bill passed 216-205 in the House, with 13 representatives not voting. The Michigan delegation voted along party lines, following its pattern in the 118th Congress,

Read the House roll call vote

Read the Senate roll call vote

Democrats Debbie Dingell, Dan Kildee, Hillary Scholten, Elissa Slotkin, Haley Stevens, Shri Thanedar and Rashida Tlaib voted no.

Republicans Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, John James, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg voted yes.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.