Happy Wednesday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything about your bills, bank account, and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
Today’s big deal: More trouble for House Democrats as they try to send a longer-term funding bill to the Senate. We will also examine a growing exodus of companies from Russia and a new record of job vacancies.
COVID-19 aid withdrawn after Democratic revolt
Faced with a revolt by grassroots Democrats, party leaders on Wednesday withdrew billions of dollars in emergency funding from a $1.5 trillion government funding package – a move that will see the passage of a larger package but leaves the fate of pandemic relief in place up in the air.
Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to vote on Russian fuel ban and other trade sanctions on Tuesday House to move forward with bill to ban Russian oil Live Coverage – House votes on fuel ban Russia and sanctions MORE (D-California) confirmed the news in a “Dear Colleague” letter Wednesday afternoon, broadly blaming Republicans for the standoff that sparked the stunning last-minute overhaul of the larger spending package.
The COVID-19 funding cut clears the way for the omnibus bill to pass on Wednesday afternoon, when Democrats are due to begin their annual issues conference in Philadelphia — a trip that was slightly postponed over objections from last minute.
The package, introduced just after midnight, extends funding until the end of the financial year. Negotiated by leaders of both parties, it was designed to win support from both sides of the aisle, including a $42 billion increase in defense spending, favored by Republicans, and a $46 billion increase in dollars from non-defense programs, widely championed by Democrats.
Check out more here from Mike Lillis and Aris of The Hill.
Big US companies are leaving Russia in droves amid Ukraine conflict
Hundreds of major US companies have suspended operations in Russia, including iconic US brands such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Disney, amid a corporate exodus from the country.
American companies have joined much of the international community in condemning the Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussia-American Charged With Acting Illegally As U.S. Defense And National Security Agent Overnight – More Aid Going To Ukraine Hoyer Says Ban On Russian gas is worth a MORE political costviolent invasion of Ukraine, while pledging to support the humanitarian effort.
These decisions have put pressure on the small number of American companies that have not yet moved away from Russia to follow in the footsteps of the big American brands.
- Pizza chain Papa John’s, industrial giant 3M and hotel chain Hilton were among the few holdouts, but those companies announced on Wednesday that they would suspend operations in Russia.
- On Wednesday, more than 300 companies partially or fully withdrew from Russia amid the invasion, according to the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute.
- Companies that have not fully withdrawn from Russia, such as candy maker Mars and chemical company Dow, have faced criticism.
Companies are weighing the reputational risk of continuing to do business with Moscow, while taking into account the challenge of transporting goods safely to the region and the financial complications arising from the strict sanctions and export controls imposed on the Russia.
“Right now, doing business with Russia is very expensive,” said Jim Angel, a professor at the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. “There are political costs, social costs and economic costs.”
Karl has the story here.
Job vacancies remain near record high in January
Job postings held steady in January after hitting a record high in December, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.
- The number of job vacancies in January totaled 11.3 million, according to the January Job Vacancies and Labor Turnover Report (JOLTS), slightly lower than the revised total of 11.4 million total open jobs reported the previous month.
- The Labor Department revised December job postings up 523,000, marking a new record high.
- Hirings remained roughly flat at 6.5 million and the total number of departures increased to 6.1 million in January. The percentage of U.S. employees who voluntarily quit their jobs in December, also known as the quit rate, fell to 2.8% from a record high of 2.9%.
“The demand for labor is historically high and workers are leaving their jobs at a historic rate to take advantage of this demand. At the same time, employers continue to struggle to fill vacancies,” wrote Nick Bunker, director of economic research at Indeed. , in an analysis Wednesday.
Sylvan has more here.
FORGIVE AND FORGET
100,000 student borrowers eligible for debt cancellation: DOE
Nearly 100,000 people are eligible for student debt forgiveness, the Department for Education announced on Wednesday.
The cancellations would apply to those affected by the agency’s changes to the Civil Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) last year. In total, the cancellations would represent nearly $6.2 billion in student debt relief, according to CNN.
Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, eligible borrowers were promised that their student loan debt would be forgiven after paying off the debt over a 10-year period. Since its inception nearly 15 years ago, only a small portion of those qualified for the program have been granted pardons before 2021, the outlet noted.
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Good to know
Lawmakers include $13.6 billion in Ukraine-related aid in a massive government funding bill expected to pass the House on Wednesday.
The deal, details of which were released early Wednesday morning, would provide further humanitarian and military aid following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
- A leading conservative group is urging Republican lawmakers to vote against a massive government spending bill, arguing it will increase spending on progressive priorities and railing against the limited time members will have had to read the legislation .
- Most Lyft employees will be allowed to work and live wherever they choose, the company announced Wednesday as more companies rethink their post-pandemic work strategies.
- On Wednesday, bipartisan members of the House Judiciary Committee referred Amazon to the Justice Department, saying it was seeking to thwart their investigation into competition in the tech industry.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.