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Senate votes to block Biden admin ESG investing rule, setting up veto showdown

The bill comes as major asset managers such as Vanguard have bucked their ESG pledges citing fiduciary duty to their investors.

Published: March 1, 2023 6:03pm

Updated: March 1, 2023 6:17pm

The Senate on Wednesday voted to block a Department of Labor rule allowing asset managers to consider environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions, setting up a veto showdown with President Joe Biden, who has said he would veto such a motion should it reach his desk.

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin, W-Va., and John Tester, Mont., joined Republicans in advancing the rule through the upper chamber, The Hill reported. Congressional termination of the rule did not require clearance of a 60-vote filibuster threshold.

The House passed the measure on Tuesday, meaning it will likely reach the president's desk. It remains unclear whether Biden will follow through on his pledge to veto the legislation.

The bill comes as major asset managers such as Vanguard have bucked their ESG pledges citing fiduciary duty to their investors. Others, such as ESG proponent BlackRock, have sought to court Republicans amid their push to curtail so-called "woke" capitalism.

Some lawmakers, however, have hinted that should BlackRock not reverse course, the firm may find itself on the receiving end of federal investigations over whether its ESG-based investing policies conflict with its duty to investors.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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