On Monday, President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his career, stopping a bill that would free up federal retirement plans… and one swing voter isn’t happy about it.
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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has earned a reputation as the Senate’s swing vote, and he just slammed Biden in a statement.
According to Manchin’s office, Biden’s veto “prioritizes politics over getting the best financial returns for millions of Americans’ retirement investments.”
“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.
He didn’t stop there.
“West Virginians are under increasing stress as we continue to recover from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, pay the bills amid record inflation, and face the largest land war in Europe since World War II,” Manchin continued.
“The Administration’s unrelenting campaign to advance a radical social and environmental agenda is only exacerbating these challenges. This ESG rule will weaken our energy, national and economic security while jeopardizing the hard-earned retirement savings of 150 million West Virginians and Americans.”
Manchin, like many others, was criticizing the bill for allocating money according to political agendas rather than according to the best interests of savers.
However, Biden described a blanket ban as congressional overreach.
“This bill would risk your retirement savings by making it illegal to consider risk factors MAGA House Republicans don’t like,” Biden tweeted Monday. “Your plan manager should be able to protect your hard-earned savings — whether Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene likes it or not.”
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Manchin pointed out the bill’s bipartisan base of supporters.
Sure enough, the bill passed the House easily, and it passed the Democrat-controlled Senate by a margin of 50-46.
The bill earned support from two Senate Democrats, with Manchin joined by Montana’s Jon Tester — hardly a pet project of just “MAGA Republicans.”
With the Senate now split 51-49, Manchin has lost the power to unilaterally kill a bill.
“Despite a clear and bipartisan rejection of the rule from Congress, President Biden is choosing to put his Administration’s progressive agenda above the well-being of the American people,” Manchin concluded.
Manchin could be running for re-election this year in a solidly Republican state. He has previously broken from Biden on energy policy.
Biden maintains a working relationship with Manchin, although some of Biden’s staffers have gone rogue to blast the West Virginia Democrat.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article.