SMART statement on President Biden’s veto of HJ Resolution 30

March 20, 2023

Today, President Biden vetoed HJ Resolution 30, which would have rescinded the Department of Labor’s rule entitled “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights.” In response, SMART issued the following statement:

“Days like today prove that no modern American president has done more to advance the causes of working people than President Biden. Today, President Biden used the power of the veto to stop Congress’ attempt to roll back a Department of Labor rule concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG). This rule allows private sector retirement investors to consider critical factors when making investment and proxy voting decisions around a company’s past record. 

“The choices made by workers’ pension funds are crucial for the retirement security of millions of working families. So instead of putting the retirement security of working people first, some members of Congress chose to prioritize political posturing and culture wars over people’s pocketbooks. 

“While some politicians suggest that ESG standards are a way for investors to force a political agenda on Americans’ retirement investment strategies, their claims are entirely misguided, ill-informed and just plain wrong. Such arguments are merely the latest attempt to boost corporate bad actors and shield them from legitimate investment decisions made by working Americans and those managing their retirement security.      

“President Biden sent a strong and needed message to legislators that ESG factors should be left to the professionals, not to the politicians bent on their own personal agendas.”