Happy Thursday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything related to your bills, bank account, and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
Today’s big deal: The omicron variant likely spoiled the January jobs report. We’ll also see the latest news on the sprint to avoid a shutdown, the lobbying frenzy around the Tech Competitiveness Bill, and the climate-related pressure on one of President BidenChief Joe BidenOath Keepers Speaks to Detention Center’s Jan. 6 Panel Biden Nominee Faces Fintech Job Scrutiny and Compensation Defense and National Security of the Day at next day – Pentagon deploys 3,000 troops to Europe MOREThe choices of the Federal Reserve.
But first, you can take a course at the university on Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftThe Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden’s moment of public frustration Hillicon Valley – Progressives lobby Google The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Israel tests fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine MORE.
Economists brace for mediocre jobs report
January’s record COVID-19 surge may have caused the first drop in employment since President Biden took office.
The January jobs report, due out Friday from the Labor Department, is expected to show the full effect of the omicron variant of the coronavirus on the economy. Economists are bracing for what they hope will be a short-lived setback after a year of steady job growth.
Experts say the combination of omicron’s unprecedented speed and remarkably poor timing may have caused the first sharp decline in employment since December 2020.
- The spike in coronavirus cases caused by the omicron variant forced millions of Americans off work in January and cratered consumer activity in industries still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
- The weekly average of new COVID-19 cases hit a record 806,851 on Jan. 16, New York Times data shows, four days after the Labor Department began conducting surveys for the jobs report. of January.
Although workers who fell ill during the survey period may already be back at work, they may not be counted in the enterprise survey used to calculate monthly employment gain.
The damage: Here’s what Goldman Sachs economists expect to see tomorrow:We estimate non-farm payrolls fell 250k, 400k below consensus +150k. survey data indicate an increase in absenteeism over the month.
Sylvester see you here.
ON THE HILL
Biden Fed pick faces GOP fire on climate stances
President Biden’s choice to be the Federal Reserve’s chief regulator said on Thursday it was “inappropriate” for the central bank to steer businesses away from fossil fuel companies – despite previously calling on the financial regulators to take stronger action to address climate-related risks in the financial system.
Sarah Bloom Raskin, whom Biden named the Fed’s vice chair of oversight last month, told senators on Thursday the bank shouldn’t “pick winners and losers” and focus solely on assessing risk climate-related issues faced by banks.
“It is inappropriate for the Fed to make credit decisions and allocations. Banks choose their borrowers, not the Fed,” Raskin told the Senate Banking Committee during her confirmation hearing. She testified alongside professors economists Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson, whom Biden also nominated for two vacant seats on the Fed board.
- Raskin, an Obama-era Fed board member and deputy treasury secretary, would be tasked with overseeing and regulating the banking system by the Fed if confirmed by the Senate.
- While she received broad Republican support for her previous Fed and Treasury nominations, GOP senators rallied behind Raskin’s current offer to join the bank following her previous statements on climate change.
Sylvan and Saul Elbein of The Hill have more here.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
Senate’s biggest Republican: Congress ‘likely’ heading for third interim bill to stave off shutdown
Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn the money – Shipping profits spark scorn amid supply issues GOP makes new bid in funding talks GOP women’s group endorses Herrera Beutler in primary race MORE (R-Ala.), a senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, suggested Thursday that Congress may need to pass another interim bill to maintain government funding after the current funding expires more later this month.
Shelby told reporters Thursday afternoon that he thinks Congress is “probably headed” for another continuing resolution (CR), which will allow the government to remain funded at the previous year’s budget levels, as the date mid-February deadline looms.
- Under the continuing resolution passed in early December, the government will remain funded at fiscal year 2021 spending levels until February 18.
- The passage of the bill came months after Congress passed another continuing resolution in late September, shortly before the start of fiscal year 2022 on Oct. 1.
Aris has the last one here.
A LOT OF LOBBYING
Business interests target China’s competitiveness bill
Business interests are pressuring lawmakers to scrap provisions of a bill aimed at increasing US competitiveness with China that they say could undermine US businesses.
They are pushing for several key measures in the House Democrats’ proposal, including a government system to review private U.S. investment in China and new tariffs on Chinese shipments, not to be included in the final package.
The House bill includes far more aggressive trade provisions, favored by unions and opposed by business groups, that were left out of the bipartisan Senate version passed last year. Both bills include $52 billion in semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.
- The differences between the two bills will be ironed out at a conference committee, where corporate lobbyists aim to help shape the version that will go to Biden’s office.
- Business lobbyists want to kill a House provision intended to stop the relocation of key supplies such as military equipment and medical equipment to China, which they say would hurt US competitiveness.
- They take aim at another House measure that would subject all Chinese shipments to tariffs and inspection, arguing that it would further increase inflation and worsen supply chain congestion.
Karl has more on the corporate lobbying push here.
DECLINE IN UNEMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS
Weekly jobless claims fall by 23,000
New jobless claims fell by 23,000 last week, according to figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.
For the week ending Jan. 29, seasonally adjusted initial claims reached 238,000, the data showed. The four-week moving average rose to 255,000 last week, 7,750 higher than the revised average from the previous week.
- The report marks the second week in a row that jobless claims have fallen after rising for several weeks.
- Last November, unemployment insurance claims fell to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic. But jobless claims rose in the following weeks as the omicron variant of COVID-19 fueled a national spike in infections.
- Data released by the Census Bureau last month revealed that millions of people missed work early in the year because they, or someone they were caring for, became ill.
Aris has more here.
Good to know
Legislators went after federal agencies Thursday on the tumultuous rollout of 5G technology earlier this year, accusing officials of creating a crisis by not communicating about aviation safety issues.
During a congressional hearing, airline officials warned that the situation was still unresolved and urged regulators to develop a permanent solution to allow 5G to be widely instituted without risking passenger safety.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
- The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is displacement of 1,200 employees other duties to help resolve potential processing delays for 2021 tax refunds and a backlog of 2020 returns as the agency grapples with a number of pandemic-related challenges.
- Crude oil prices reached $90 per barrel for the first time since 2014 on Thursday afternoon.
- A possible Russian invasion of Ukraine could have negative effects impact portfolios average Americans, who are already facing higher prices and rising inflation.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you on Friday.