WASHINGTON – Heritage Action, a conservative grassroots organization with two million grassroots activists, key voted in support of Senator Braun and Congressman Barr’s Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the Department of Labor’s new ESG rule.
Heritage Action Executive Director Jessica Anderson released the following statement:
“This week, Congress will have an opportunity to stand up and defeat a Biden administration rule that would jeopardize the retirement accounts and 401(k)s of more than 150 million American workers. By supporting Senator Braun and Congressman Barr’s CRA resolution, members of Congress can stand up to the progressive mob and protect their constituents from the Left’s ESG agenda.
The Department of Labor’s new rule would allow woke asset managers to use the nearly $11.7 trillion in assets from the retirement accounts of over 150 million Americans to fund the Left’s political agenda. In practice, this means that asset managers are allowed to weaponize American workers’ retirement savings to work against both their financial interests and their values. Biden’s rule is an insult to hardworking American taxpayers and an attempt to violate the important fiduciary requirement of Congress’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
American grassroots demand to see their leaders fight for their values, future financial security, and the futures of their families. Heritage Action urges all Senators and Representatives to vote in support of Sen. Braun and Rep. Barr’s resolution to block this anti-worker rule.”
The full text of the key vote can be found here or below.
Heritage Action supports Senator Braun and Congressman Barr’s Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the Department of Labor’s new ESG rules (S.J.Res.8, H.J. Res. 30) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.
The House and Senate will soon vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval that would block the Department of Labor’s recent rule politicizing the retirement investments of millions of Americans. Under the new rule, fiduciaries that manage retirement accounts governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) would have the ability to prioritize environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors over maximizing financial returns.
Biden’s new rule will negatively impact the private retirement accounts of 152 million Americans whose retirements are dependent on ERISA plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans. This new rule goes beyond “allowing” for ESG investing. It pushes for it to become the standard—ESG funds can now be used as the default option for workers automatically enrolled into their retirement accounts.
While there is no singularly accepted definition for ESG, advocates on the Left describe it as criteria for making strategic investment decisions to aid environmental or social causes. In practice, ESG is a political tool the Left uses to take over businesses and financial institutions, turning them from organizations whose purpose is to provide goods and services for a profit into new vehicles for forcing progressive ideology onto society. From establishing race-based, discriminatory quotas to granting board seats to activists who undermine the company’s core business, implicit in ESG investing is the idea that decisions are made for political reasons to bring about the Leftist ideals of “equity” and “social justice.” Unsurprisingly, ESG funds tend to underperform the broader market.
Congress enacted ERISA as a means for establishing minimum standards for employee-provided retirement benefits, and until now, that has included a requirement that fiduciary decisions be made to achieve the best return on investment for the client. The goal of the fiduciary requirement is to ensure asset managers avoid conflicts of interest and work on behalf of the beneficiaries rather than themselves.
The new rule from President Biden’s Department of Labor represents a direct reversal of that fiduciary standard by allowing asset managers to use Americans’ retirement accounts to finance their own, Left-wing political agenda at the expense of American workers. The vast majority of Americans’ retirement accounts are linked to their employer, meaning the new Biden rule will impact the retirement investments of 152 million Americans—totaling $11.7 trillion in assets.
Essentially, the Biden Administration has decided to politically weaponize the retirement accounts of American workers to promote their far-Left ESG agenda.
Thanks to this CRA, Congress has the opportunity to protect their constituents from the Department of Labor’s extremely dangerous rule to promote ESG. Senators and Representatives must stand with the American worker and against the woke progressive mob by voting in favor of this resolution of disapproval.