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Cruz Introduces Bill to Ban Investment Fund Managers from Leveraging Private Retirement Accounts to Push ESG Policies

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced legislation that will prevent companies that manage investment funds held in federal employee retirement accounts from using those holdings to vote in corporate shareholder meetings to force leftist Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies onto private sector businesses.

Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) is co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) previously introduced companion legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

BlackRock, a far-left, multinational hedge fund, manages several retirement funds held in the federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), the retirement system for federal employees. BlackRock is able to leverage its position as the fund manager to vote in shareholder meetings and to force publicly traded companies to adopt ESG and DEI policies, even if doing so adversely affects investor value. As such, BlackRock prioritizes its political agenda over the interests of employees and retirees who are seeking to maximize their return on investment.

Sen. Cruz said, “I am proud to join Congressman Buck and sponsor this legislation in the Senate to hold investment fund managers accountable and ensure they do not misuse their position as a fiduciary to advance an agenda contrary to the interests of their investors. As the managing entity of TSP, BlackRock is leveraging the financial weight of the federal retirement system to push their woke ESG and DEI ideology through other peoples’ investments. BlackRock’s manipulation and brazen politicization of federal retirement accounts is wrong and should not be tolerated.”

Rep. Buck said, “For years, BlackRock has been leveraging taxpayer money to force unwilling businesses to accept ESG and DEI policies. Through its position as the manager of the federal Thrift Savings Plan, BlackRock has abused public capital to push a radical agenda and censor conservative media.”

The Stop TSP ESG Act would prevent the TSP from allowing woke fund managers from using their voting power to advance a far-left agenda. This bill will not only empower federal retirees and protect their investments, but will also enhance the shareholder power of individual investors who would otherwise get outvoted by large institutional investors like BlackRock.

About the legislation Will Hild, Executive Director at Consumers’ Research, said, “Woke Wall Street has been using the federal Thrift Savings Plan to force a radical left-wing agenda on the country. That’s a violation of their fiduciary duty and the basic precepts of democracy. Policy should be made in Congress, not BlackRock’s C-Suite.”

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, said, “The Stop TSP ESG Act is an important step in stopping the radical ESG agenda by protecting TSP account holders. BlackRock CEO Larry Fink admits to ‘forcing behaviors.’ Shareholders may be unknowingly supporting companies that disparage their values as proxy voting decisions are made by these radicals. Thank you, Rep. Buck, for introducing this legislation.”

Read the legislation here.