EXCLUSIVE: More than 100 conservative leaders and groups organized by former Vice President Mike Pence’s political advocacy group are backing a new resolution from Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., and Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., that would block a move by the Biden administration to promote a “woke capital agenda.”
Last week, every Republican senator and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin introduced legislation that they hope will terminate a new Department of Labor rule that allows retirement plan managers to factor environment, social and governance (ESG) issues into investment decisions, which they say “politicizes” the retirement savings for 152 million Americans.
Advancing American Freedom (AAF) Executive Director Paul Teller wrote a letter, first obtained by Fox News Digital and signed by the heads of more than 100 conservative groups, urging Congress to rollback Biden’s “politically inappropriate” and “financially irresponsible” rule.
“According to research from the University of Chicago, mutual funds scoring highly on ESG factors are constantly outperformed by funds rated lowest for ESG,” the letter states. “Moreover, 85 percent of the country does not even know what ‘ESG’ is, and therefore would not be aware of the financial risks their retirement account managers are subjecting them to when they actively pursue ESG investment decisions.”
A recent study conducted by UCLA and NYU agreed with the finding that while ESG standards are increasingly used by investors and asset managers to guide their decision-making, they often underperform compared to the broader market.
“The woke capital agenda of the Biden administration needs to be cast aside for commonsense policies that protect American retirees,” AAF founder Pence told Fox News Digital. “The American people deserve accountability for their hard-earned savings and reassurance that the encroaching of ESG is overturned.”
AAF also announced it’s third “Future of Freedom” legislative agenda series, which includes targeting ESG and empowering Americans to ensure their retirement plans are well protected.
The letter urged Congress to overturn the Biden administration’s rule through the Congressional Review Act. Under that law, joint resolutions that disapprove of a regulation must come up for a vote and be used to eliminate regulations if passed by both the House and Senate. Supporters of the resolution expect at least one more Democrat to support it, allowing it to pass in the Senate.
“We, the undersigned organizations and officials, are calling on every member of the United States Congress to support these resolutions and stop Biden’s ideological embezzling of Americans’ retirement accounts,” the letter read.
The conservative organizations that signed onto the letter included Heritage Action, America First Policy Institute, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, Climate Science Coalition of America, Club for Growth, Fair Energy Foundation, Faith & Freedom Coalition and the Foundation for Government Accountability.
The state treasurers of Arizona, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah and West Virginia also signed it.
Republican and Democrat lawmakers in recent weeks have been targeting the Biden administration’s ESG investment priorities, and they are warning Americans that these priorities may be working against their financial goals.
A group of 25 states last month filed a federal lawsuit over the rule, which Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said would put millions of Americans’ safety net retirement plans “at risk.”