A pair of bills passed by Congress in recent days may give President Joe Biden the first opportunity to use his veto power since becoming president over two years ago.
The first bill Biden is expected to veto pertains to Biden’s new ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) rule for investing in retirement plans, which Republicans and a few moderate Democrat Senators want to see scrapped.
The rule would put restrictions on investments according to whether the companies agree with or follow liberal talking points about things like climate change, racism, and voting rights. If companies don’t tow the liberal line, they could see investors forcibly divest from them, even if they had been profitable.
Democrat Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) voted with Republicans to pass the measure, but Biden said he would veto it.
Crime bill may also be vetoed
The next step may be a court challenge, because there’s no way ESG laws are constitutional.
The other law that may come up for a veto is a resolution to overturn a soft-on-crime bill passed in Washington, D.C. that drastically reduces penalties for a number of crimes.
Congress has the ability to weigh in on laws passed in D.C., since it is not a state and since Congress meets there. It has not done so for 30 years, but the Senate is set to vote next week on whether to do so in this case–the bill has already passed the Republican-led House.
The law was passed by the city council over the mayor’s veto, even as crime is rising quickly in the city and district.
“According to the Metropolitan Police Department, homicides have dramatically increased (25 percent), along with vehicle theft (111 percent), theft from auto (21 percent), and theft (16 percent),” Breitbart News noted.
Using his pen
While Biden at first said he would not veto the bill if it passed the Senate, he said on Thursday that he would veto it.
Normally, divided government works well because in situations like this, bad laws don’t get passed. In this case, however, the divided government makes it difficult to get rid of bad laws, because even when Republicans can get a moderate Senator or two to go along with them, Biden just stops their efforts with a veto.
In the case of the ESG rule, Biden is abusing his executive authority, and congressional Republicans don’t have enough power to stop him. The last hope is the courts.