In 2022, the Department of Labor published a rule that managers of retirement investment plans could consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when choosing investments for plan members. Although "ESG" is a relatively new term, it's not a new concept - retirement managers have invested using "socially responsible" strategies for decades, which are similar.
The Republican challenge to this rule is partly borne from classic partisan objections to environmental protection and improved corporate governance standards. However, more fundamentally, their opposition is based in ESG investing's general avoidance of shares in mining, weapons and tobacco companies - all large components of the Republican donor base. In fact, Marc Molinaro's largest individual corporate donor is an oil and gas corporation.
Debate centered around Republican arguments that investment decisions should be entirely fiduciary, and ESG factors are a distraction. However, as illustrated above, ESG stocks actually deliver better returns on both a medium- and long-term basis. A vote for the bill is a vote against better investment performance for retirees.
This resolution passed by a party-line vote, 216-204. Molinaro voted FOR this bill.
This resolution mourns the loss of life in Turkey and Syria caused by the earthquakes in Turkey on February 6, 2023. According to the text, the resolution also:
This resolution passed by a wide margin, 412-2. Molinaro voted FOR this bill.
This widely-supported bill requires most internet-enabled devices that have cameras or microphones to be sold with a consumer notice that the device has a camera or microphone.
This resolution also passed by a wide margin of 406-12. All Democrats and most Republicans - including Molinaro - voted FOR this bill.
Debate continued on two bills from the prior day and votes were finally taken on each:
Molinaro voted FOR both resolutions, which were supported by all Republicans and a handful of Democrats.
Debate on this resolution was somewhat off-topic relative to the language in the resolution. Republicans allowed some of their more extreme members to control debate, and there were as many attacks on the U.S. military and President as there were on the Chinese. However, the text of the resolution was largely noncontroversial.
Congressman Molinaro did not speak during debate, but weighed in with a somewhat partisan tweet afterward, characterizing it as a "Republican" bill. All House members, from both parties voted FOR this bill. Under normal circumstances, a national security bill condemning an attack on the country would not be characterized a "Democratic" or "Republican" bill, but Molinaro apparently felt it important use a particularly partisan formulation.
Debate continued on two bills from the prior day:
H.R. 185 was the only bill voted on today and that included votes on these five amendments:
Subsequent to amendment voting, there was a procedural vote to send the bill back to committee. Molinaro voted NO with all Republicans.
Finally, H.R. 185 was voted on by the House and passed largely along party lines. Molinaro voted YES with all Republicans.
This one vote covered a procedural vote for three separate bills to be voted upon at a later date:
These three bills were intended for the red-meat base, and debate included expected anti-vaccine rhetoric, as well as criticism of urban justice reform from mostly rural Congressmen, including New York Republican Nick Langworthy. Langworthy led debate for his caucus, attacking New York state in his remarks - a developing trend among the state's Republicans. Molinaro voted FOR H.Res. 97, which was supported by all Republicans and one Democrat.
Sponsored by Democratic Congresswoman Deborah Ross of North Carolina, this bill directs the Secretary of Energy to establish a program to provide financial assistance to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers pursuing courses of study relating to cybersecurity and energy infrastructure. Molinaro voted FOR the bill, which passed by a 357-56 margin.
H.Res. 76, which removes Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee, is widely understood to be a retaliation bill for the removal of Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees in the prior congress. Gosar was penalized for Twitter posts that depicted the murder of a Congresswoman, and Greene was removed for calling for Speaker Nancy Pelosi's execution, as well as trafficking in Qanon, racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric prior to her election.
The resolution condemns statements Omar has made in the past as either anti-Semitic or anti-Israel. Molinaro voted FOR the resolution to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee. He defended the vote in a comment to the Daily Freeman that her prior comments about Jews and Israel were disqualifying.
However, Omar has apologized for comments that were seen as anti-Semitic, which appears to have resolved any tensions with the broad Jewish community, as the resolution for her removal was opposed by almost all Jewish members of Congress. The Jewish community has been far more critical of Marjorie Taylor Greene's appearance at a conference hosted by neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes last year - a controversy Molinaro has never expressed concern over.
Omar has not generally retreated from her criticisms of Israel, which would not appear to be cause for removal from committees, as members of the Foreign Affairs committee - like fellow New York Republican Claudia Tenney - frequently criticize both allies and adversaries.
Molinaro received some criticism of his own on his Facebook post that defended his vote, and this appears to be another circumstance where he's fallen in line with the edges of the party instead of navigating a moderate path. The resolution passed on an entirely party-line vote. As mentioned above, Molinaro voted FOR this bill.
For more background, read: The GOP Attack on Ilhan Omar Trivializes Antisemitism
Widely derided as political theatrics. H.Con.Res. 9 condemns several historical leaders of socialist or communist countries and denounces socialism in America.
In half-hearted debate, opponents pointed out that leaders of some of America's greatest allies were socialist, including the Allies of World War II and Israel. Additionally, observers wondered aloud whether the final line of the resolution, "That Congress . . . opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America" was part of the expected attack on Social Security and Medicare by Republicans.
Molinaro voted FOR this bill, which passed. He later tweeted attacks on those opposed to 2023's strangest resolution to date. He was mocked by constituents for the post and did not respond further.
H.R. 139 adds a layer of bureaucracy to any teleworking that was implemented during the Covid-19 emergency and continues today. The bill would permit most efficiencies developed during the national pivot to telework, but would add some time-consuming administrative complexities.
Largely seen as a Republican messaging bill, this law is portrayed by its sponsors as an end to government telework and a demand to return to the office, but it's not that simple. H.R. 139 would not prohibit new teleworking, but would require departments to receive certification from the office of Personnel Management that teleworking arrangements would be positive for those departments. Additionally, newly implemented teleworking would require reports to Congress.
Molinaro voted FOR this bill, which fell largely along party lines except for four moderate Congressmen who crossed the aisle.
Paul Gosar's H. Res. 7 is consistent with and largely duplicative of the bill passed the previous day ending the Covid-19 state of emergency. President Biden has already indicated that the state of emergency will conclude mid-year to allow for a careful transition for impacted citizens.
Molinaro voted FOR this resolution, which passed with support of 11 Democrats and all Republicans.
Two votes were taken to accelerate voting for two resolutions - one to remove Congresswoman Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee and the other to condemn socialism. Molinaro voted FOR both resolutions, which passed entirely along party lines.