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EDITORIAL | First Veto: Biden knocks down GOP ban on socially conscious federal investments

March 20, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. | Updated March 25, 2023 at 2:01 p.m.

Republican lawmakers in Congress have had their eye on what is often called socially conscious investing.

And that pitted them against President Joe Biden.

Congress passed a bill restricting government retirement fund managers from considering factors such as climate change, social concerns of impending lawsuits when selecting where to invest retirement funds.

Such investments were banned during President Donald Trump's term in office. The Biden administration ditched the ban and allowed, but did not require, federal pension managers to consider such factors.

And so when the bill that would essentially bring back those Trump-era restrictions reached President Biden's desk on Monday, he issued the first veto of his of his presidency.

No doubt Congressional Republicans will try to overturn the veto. And there is no no doubt they will fail. They simply haven't the votes.

And that's good. Because politicians like the president and Congress aren't retirement fund managers. They can and should ban federal or even private investments where national security is at risk or to sanction a dangerous rogue nation. That's within their competence. But they shouldn't be setting any hard and fast investment rules tied to nothing more than partisan positions.

Retirement fund managers have a fiduciuary duty to those whose money they manage. They don't have a duty to bolster a party's talking points. If they think socially conscious investing has a place in a fund's portfolio, so be it. If not, that's fine, too. The results will show whether they are right or not -- and whether a change in a fund's investments is needed.

Congress should just let these managers do their job for the federal workers who will one day depend on that money.

Print Headline: EDITORIAL/First Veto: Biden knocks down GOP ban on socially conscience federal investments


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