U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is urging Americans to wake up to the pitfalls of “woke” investing. He blasted proposed guidelines from the federal Department of Labor Tuesday.
Rubio took issue with a proposed rule from the Employee Benefits Security Administration advanced earlier this month.
Per a statement from his Senate office, the still-conceptual “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights” has a number of problems.
One of the issues Rubio has is that it allows investment on criteria beyond profit and loss, including “climate-change related factors” and “progress on workforce diversity (and) inclusion.”
“Following the lead of Wall Street and corporate America, President Joe Biden wants the investment of workers’ and retirees’ hard-earned savings to advance progressive, woke social policies instead of their best interests,” Rubio said. “This is the latest example of how the political left works. They want to remake the entire country to comply with the latest woke agenda. And with this rule, the political left’s allies on Wall Street and corporate America will be free to do it with no recourse for the workers and retirees harmed by it.”
The Department of Labor, for its part, defends the evolved rule.
“For many years, the Department’s non-regulatory guidance has recognized that, under the appropriate circumstances, ERISA fiduciaries can make investment decisions that reflect climate change and other environmental, social, or governance (ESG) considerations, including climate-related financial risk, and choose economically targeted investments (ETIs) selected, in part, for benefits apart from the investment return,” notes the Federal Register entry inviting comment on the proposal through Dec. 13.
Rubio has taken issue with social progress as an investment yardstick before, and has filed a bill that would compel corporations to steer clear of left-leaning populist initiatives.
Rubio’s Mind Your Own Business Act, filed this year, would “require corporate directors to prove their ‘woke’ corporate actions were in their shareholders’ best interest in order to avoid liability for breach of fiduciary duty in shareholder litigation over corporate actions relating to certain social policies.”
“If they really believe that being woke is good for business, they should have to say so — and prove it — under oath in court,” Rubio said on behalf of that legislation.