On The Money — Kevin McCarthy’s debt ceiling jam

We break down why the Speaker is stuck with no dancing partner in debt ceiling negotiations. We’ll also look at another round of big tech layoffs and how many of your colleagues are using robots to do their work.

📬 But first, stamps are about to get more expensive.

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Someone forward you this newsletter?

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McCarthy tries to get out of his box on debt ceiling

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is pressing for Democrats to come to the bargaining table and begin negotiations to address the nation’s debt limit, as he faces pressures within his party to make good on significant fiscal reform.

McCarthy called on the White House to start discussions this week. But as both sides gear up for the fight over the country’s borrowing limit, the GOP leader is getting the cold shoulder from Democrats, who have characterized ideas floated on the other side as nonstarters.

“Republicans are creating a crisis that need not exist,” Rep. Brendan Boyle (Pa.), top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said on Thursday, while decrying what he called “political games.”

The background: The standoff comes as House Republicans have ramped up calls to tie spending cuts to any bill raising or suspending the debt limit — legislation that caps how much outstanding national debt the government can hold to fulfill its financial duties. Democrats, by contrast, have instead insisted on a clean bill to address the debt ceiling.

Aris has it all here.

LEADING THE DAY

Google parent Alphabet to cut 12,000 jobs as tech job losses continue

Google’s parent company, Alphabet, will cut about 12,000 jobs, as tech companies across the board continue to engage in mass layoffs.

“Over the past two years we’ve seen periods of dramatic growth,” CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to Google employees on Friday. “To match and fuel that growth, we hired for a different economic reality than the one we face today.”

  • After a “rigorous review,” Pichai said they would be cutting positions across “product areas, functions, levels and regions” at Alphabet. 

  • The company will offer severance packages to those affected by the layoffs, as well as six months of health care, job placement services and immigration support. Alphabet will also hold a town hall with employees on Monday. 

  • The mass layoffs in Big Tech follow a hiring boom as the COVID-19 pandemic changed consumers’ purchasing habits, as well as growing concerns that the U.S. economy will soon face a recession.

The Hill’s Julia Shapero digs in here.

FAIR HOUSING PUSH

HUD files proposed rule aimed at reducing housing segregation

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has filed a proposal for a new rule to push local communities to take steps to address housing segregation.

HUD said in a release that the rule would require municipalities, states and public housing agencies to set goals for fair housing issues facing their communities, in accordance with the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing mandate of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.

  • The release states that the rule would require participants in HUD programs to submit an “equity plan” for the department to review every five years that will analyze fair housing issues facing their communities, a description of community engagement and goals and strategies to fix those problems in concrete ways. 

  • The proposal builds off of a 2015 rule from the Obama administration to get state and local governments to meet expectations in furthering fair housing. The Trump administration scrapped the rule in 2020.

The Hill’s Jared Gans takes it from here.

BOT AND SOLD

Nearly 30 percent of professionals say they have used ChatGPT at work

Almost 30 percent of professional workers say they have used the artificial intelligence software known as ChatGPT while at work.

A poll from the publication Fishbowl, which focuses on workplace trends and employee perspectives, found that 27 percent of professionals have used the program to help them with work-related tasks. Pollsters reported that those in the marketing and advertising industry have used it most commonly, with 37 percent saying so.

  • The AI search tool launched to the public in November and has grown significantly in popularity since then as a free service. A user of the program can type in a question and the tool will respond with an answer in the form of an essay. 

  • The Fishbowl poll found the tool is most popular among professionals from Generation Z, with 29 percent saying they have used it at work. Members of Generation X followed right behind, with 28 percent having used it, and millennials followed closely behind that, with 27 percent using it.

The Hill’s Jared Gans has more here.

Good to Know

Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers warned on Friday that backing down on interest rates as a means of controlling inflation could precipitate a 1970s-style economic crisis.

Here’s what else have our eye on:

  • Nevada and other states are poised to rake in huge benefits from a boom in lithium mining for batteries pushed by federal incentives as U.S. demand surges for electric vehicles (EVs). 

  • Former President Trump on Friday urged Republicans in Congress not to cut “a single penny” from Medicare or Social Security, a notable warning as some GOP lawmakers prepare to use the debt ceiling debate as leverage to try to secure spending cuts. 

  • T-Mobile said a hacker stole data on about 37 million customers after first gaining access to a company system in November, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) report filed on Thursday.

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you next week.

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