Yuma Sun

Biden issues first veto, taking on new Republican House


WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his presidency Monday in an early sign of shifting White House relations with the new Congress since Republican­s took control of the House in January – a move that serves as a prelude to bigger battles with GOP lawmakers on government spending and the nation’s debt limit.

Biden sought to kill a Republican-authored measure that would ban the government from considerin­g environmen­tal impacts or potential lawsuits when making investment decisions for people’s retirement plans. In a video released by the White House, Biden said he vetoed the measure because it “put at risk the retirement savings of individual­s across the country.”

His first veto represents a more confrontat­ional approach at the midway of Biden’s term in office, as he faces a Gop-controlled House that is eager to undo parts of his policy legacy and investigat­e his administra­tion and his family. Complicati­ng matters for Biden, several Democratic senators are up for re-election next year in conservati­ve states, giving them political incentive to put some distance between them and the White House.

The measure vetoed by Biden ended would have effectivel­y reinstated a Trump-era ban on federal managers of retirement plans considerin­g factors such as climate change, social impacts or pending lawsuits when making investment choices.

The veto could also help calm some anger from environmen­talists who have been upset with the Biden administra­tion for its recent decision to greenlight the Willow oil project, a massive and contentiou­s drilling project in Alaska.

“The president vetoed the bill because it jeopardize­s the hard-earned life savings of cops, firefighte­rs, teachers, and other workers,” White House spokespers­on Robyn Patterson said.

But critics say so-called environmen­tal, social and governance investment­s allocate money based on political agendas, such as a drive against climate change, rather than on earning the best returns for savers. Republican­s in Congress who pushed the measure said environmen­tal or social considerat­ions in investment­s by the government are just another example of being “woke.”

“In his first veto, Biden just sided with woke Wall Street over workers,” House Speaker Kevin Mccarthy, R-calif., tweeted on Monday. “Tells you exactly where his priorities lie.” He said “it’s clear Biden wants Wall Street to use your retirement savings to fund his far-left political causes.”

Biden’s veto is likely to prevail. Just three Democrats in Congress – one in the House, and two in the Senate – supported Republican­s in the matter, making it unlikely a two-thirds majority in both chambers could be assembled to overcome Biden’s veto.

Rep. Jared Golden, D-maine, was the sole Democrat to back the resolution in the House, while Sens. Jon Tester, D-mont., and Joe Manchin, D-W.VA., supported it in the Senate. Golden is a perennial target of Republican­s seeking to oust him from his conservati­ve district, while Tester and Manchin are both up for re-election next year.

“This administra­tion continues to prioritize their radical policy agenda over the economic, energy and national security needs of our country, and it is absolutely infuriatin­g,” Manchin said in a statement.

Though Biden swiftly vetoed

the investment resolution, other measures coming from Capitol Hill in the weeks and months ahead could be a tougher call for the White House.

The administra­tion initially signaled that Biden would reject a Republican-authored measure that would override a crime measure passed by the District of Columbia Council, but the president later said he would sign it. The White House has also yet to indicate what Biden will do with a measure – passed unanimousl­y in both chambers of Congress – that would declassify U.S. intelligen­ce informatio­n about

the origins of COVID-19.

Biden’s immediate predecesso­r, Donald Trump, vetoed 10 bills during his term in office, while Barack Obama vetoed 12, according to the American Presidency Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Both had one of their vetoes overridden by Congress.

The president with the most vetoes was Franklin Delano Roosevelt – who was elected to four terms before a constituti­onal amendment limited all presidents to two – with 635 vetoes. Six U.S. presidents never vetoed any legislatio­n in office.

 ?? ALEX BRANDON/AP ?? PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN WAVES as he walks to Marine One upon departure from the South Lawn of the White House on Friday in Washington.
ALEX BRANDON/AP PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN WAVES as he walks to Marine One upon departure from the South Lawn of the White House on Friday in Washington.

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