. Andy Barr (R-KY) are looking to destroy President Joe Biden’s controversial Labor Department rule change, which allows companies to prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives when choosing retirement plans.
The move comes after the Labor Department announced a rule on November 22 that would enable fund managers to prioritize ESG initiatives, a form of leftist activism in financial investing, when selecting which retirement investments to pursue in and when they exercise shareholder rights, such as proxy voting.
The rule is ultimately a reversal of a Trump-era rule. ESG policies are a form of leftist activism in financial investing that has become the latest vector to influence the way Wall Street financial firms and corporations continue to take social and political positions that do not relate to their business, such as stances associated with climate change, as well as the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agenda. Ultimately, after the rule comes into effect, it would empower asset managers to push these leftist ideas through unelected channels by considering something other than earning returns. Given the political beliefs behind ESG investing, state treasurers have argued that it goes again the fiduciary duty of the asset managers to push these ideas. More than likely, the CRA would not pass a divided Congress or with President Biden in office — as it happened under his administration — but the measure will raise awareness of the issue and, as Axios noted, “force lawmakers to go on the record about where they stand.” Barr, who will be a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee in the Republican-controlled House next year, told Axios on Thursday: By finalizing rule-making allowing plan fiduciaries to consider ESG factors, Biden’s Department of Labor is steering capital away from the American energy sector, discriminating against oil and gas producers, driving up prices at the pump, and preventing investors from reaping returns from high-performing energy stocks. We’re going to have a very fulsome agenda combatting ESG, highlighting ESG for the fraud that it is,” Barr said, calling the climate-focused approach “a cancer within our capital markets.
The congressman, who believes that ESG policies are not a market-driven phenomenon, unlike BlackRock and Vanguard, told Axios that there would be two phases of oversight in the new Congress: One focused on regulators, including bank regulators, the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission; and the second targeting the private sector, including banks and asset managers — paired with a legislative agenda. Over the last year, and specifically the last few months, more Republicans across the United States have started to take aim at the ESG policy movement. Multiple Republican-led states across the United States have begun pulling money they have invested out of BlackRock due to its leftist activism in financial investing. Furthermore, multiple state treasurers attended the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) conference last month, where many from across the country presented a strategy against ESG policies.
The group launched a website and a video explainer, hoping to educate Americans on the dangers of ESG policies. At the conference, multiple state treasurers explained to Breitbart News that ESG policies hurt each state differently but, collectively, financially hurt all American taxpayers. Hence, they came together in a joint effort to combat the left-wing policies masquerading as economics. Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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