The News: Today, President Joe Biden vetoed the bipartisan resolution from Congress that condemned, and would ultimately block, the use of environmental, social, and governance (commonly referred to as “ESG”) factors in retirement investing. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty is responding to the President’s decision, and continues its legal efforts against the woke and illegal rule.
The Quotes: WILL President & General Counsel, Rick Esenberg, stated “If environmental impacts or social issues are actually relevant to risk, fiduciaries have always been obliged to consider them. The Department rule presumes their relevance and, in practice, all but mandates their consideration. I’d rather have my retirement funds managed by professionals than politicians.”
WILL Associate Counsel, Kate Spitz, added, “President Biden’s recent veto of this congressional resolution leaves us no choice but to continue our lawsuit against his administration’s ESG rule. The President’s action not only ignores the bipartisan will of Congress and circumvents its action, but jeopardizes the financial security of over 140 million Americans by injecting partisan issues, such as climate change and DEI initiatives, into their retirement investments.”
Background: Last month WILL filed a lawsuit on behalf of retirement account participants—Rick Braun and Fred Luehrs—against the U.S. Secretary of Labor, over a new rule that permitted the use of ESG factors in retirement investing. WILL’s seventh lawsuit against the Biden Administration argued that imposing these factors not only violated the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which governs the operation of retirement plans and protects the hard-earned savings of millions of employees from mismanagement and abuse, but undermined the authority of Congress.
WILL also joined more than 100 organizations and officials in signing a coalition letter to Congress, opposing the 401(k) rule and supporting the congressional effort to overturn it. Less than two weeks ago, Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, commended our legal pursuit and invited our client, Fred Luehrs, to the ceremonial signing of bipartisan joint resolution H.J. Res. 30; which would halt the implementation of the ESG rule.
Learn More: This Thursday, March 23, at 11 AM CST, WILL Associate Counsel, Kate Spitz, will discuss the latest issues involving ESG regulations, as well as WILL’s federal lawsuit against the Biden Administration to stop the politicization of hardworking Americans’ retirement savings. Sign up here to register for this informative webinar.
- Webinar – Risky Business: How ESG Regulations Are Endangering Americans’ Retirement Savings, March 23, 2023
- WILL Sues Biden Administration Over Illegal ESG Rule, February 21, 2023
President and General Counsel