By Darren Lyn
HOUSTON, US (AA) - President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his presidency Monday, rejecting a bipartisan bill that would have protected Americans’ retirement savings from political interference.
The bill would have rescinded a US Department of Labor rule that allows retirement fund managers to consider the impact of climate change as well as other environmental, social and governance factors when picking investments for clients, according to multiple news outlets.
“I just signed this veto because legislation passed by the Congress would put at risk the retirement savings of individuals across the country," Biden said in a video statement.
"They couldn’t take into consideration investments that wouldn’t be impacted by climate, impacted by overpaying executives, and that’s why I decided to veto it – it makes sense to veto it,” he continued.
Biden's veto represented a powerful political stance against the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives that flipped away from the Democrats during midterm elections last November.
Republican lawmakers argued that the current rule is a “woke” policy that pushes a liberal agenda on Americans and will hurt retirees’ bottom lines.
Conversely, Democrats said it is not about ideology and will help investors in the long run.
Biden's veto runs in line with his commitment to veto legislation passed by the Republican-controlled House that he disagrees with.
The bill to rescind the rule was passed by both chambers of Congress with Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana voting with Republicans in the Senate.
Opponents could try to override Biden’s veto, but that appears unlikely at this point with a two-thirds majority in each chamber needed to do so.