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Recode Daily: Nancy Pelosi won’t open the House for Trump’s State of the Union until the government has reopened

Plus: Oracle has been accused of widespread discrimination against women and people of color; BuzzFeed and Verizon are laying off employees; phones are about to get weird.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Win McNamee / Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told President Donald Trump in a letter that the House will not consider a resolution authorizing him to deliver his State of the Union address — originally set for next Tuesday — until the government has reopened. Her note to the president came after Trump sent his own letter telling Pelosi he still planned to deliver the annual address next week, despite her concerns. Meanwhile, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, indefinitely postponed his public congressional testimony that was scheduled for February 7; his lawyer cited ongoing threats against his family from Trump. [Felicia Sonmez and Seung Min Kim / The Washington Post]

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Oracle has been accused of widespread discrimination against women and people of color, including more than $400 million in lost wages and rampant exclusion of black and Hispanic people in hiring. A federal complaint filed by the US Department of Labor says that out of roughly 500 people hired into technical jobs over a four-year period, only five were Hispanic and only six were African American. The agency also alleged that more than 5,000 women have been underpaid, with disparities as high as 20 percent, and that more than 11,000 Asian employees have been underpaid, with gaps as high as 8 percent. The complaint is significant because it includes a detailed analysis of both Oracle’s hiring practices and the way women and people of color face “extreme” disparities throughout their careers at one of Silicon Valley’s largest corporations. [Sam Levin / The Guardian]

BuzzFeed is laying off around 250 employees next week — about 15 percent of the workforce at one of the most high-profile digital-native publishers. BuzzFeed, which employs more than 1,300 people, generated more than $300 million in revenue in 2018, up more than 15 percent from the previous year, but it still loses money. This is the company’s second round of layoffs in 14 months: In 2017, it cut about 100 staffers after missing its revenue target of approximately $350 million by up to 20 percent; the miss led the company to put its plans for an IPO on hold. [Kurt Wagner and Peter Kafka / Recode]

Verizon says some of its media assets are so useless it won’t try to sell them. The wireless giant is shutting down some of its AOL and Yahoo properties; it’s also laying off 800 people at Verizon Media Group — formerly known as Oath — about 7 percent of its workforce. The division, which includes media, advertising and technology, was formed in November as the result of a merger between Yahoo and AOL under the Verizon brand. Verizon took a $4.6 billion write-down on its media business, revealing in a December regulatory filing that the segment wasn’t as valuable as it previously thought. [Peter Kafka / Recode]

YouTube TV is finally nearing nationwide availability. The Top 100 US markets already have access to the streaming service, which launched in February 2017, and 95 more markets are being added effective immediately, which YouTube says is enough to cover “98 percent of US households.” But not all markets will be able to stream all four of the major broadcasters: ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC. YouTube says all YouTube TV markets will have live-streaming access to at least three out of the four. If you’re thinking of making your cable bill a memory, check out this cord-cutter’s guide to hardware, software, and services. [Chris Welch / The Verge]

Patreon now has more than three million patrons who pay to support any of its more than 100,000 creators every month; the membership services platform is on track to pay more than half a billion dollars this year to creators ranging from musicians to podcasters. While Patreon is growing, it is also increasingly getting competition from other platforms looking to offer creators alternative revenue streams in addition to advertising. Facebook started testing paid memberships last March, and both Twitter and YouTube have been allowing live streamers to raise funding from their audiences. [Janko Roettgers / Variety]

Tech workers are pushing for a more ethical Silicon Valley: A series of interviews with engineers, developers, designers, and researchers details how they Slacked, messaged on Signal, circulated pledges on Google Docs, spoke quietly to one another in the cafeteria, and spoke up at company-wide meetings. Whether it was protesting projects with ICE and the Chinese government or walking out to demand better treatment of women, political activism has entered tech with a force that the industry has never experienced. [Cameron Bird, Sean Captain, Elise Craig, Haley Cohen Gilliland, and Joy Shan / California Sunday Magazine]

Top stories from Recode

Hulu is cutting the price of its most popular streaming service — and raising the price of its most expensive one. The moves come after a Netflix price hike. [Peter Kafka]

Google, Amazon, and Facebook all spent record amounts last year lobbying the US government. They spent a combined $48 million — up 13 percent from 2017. [Rani Molla]

NYU’s Jay Rosen says 2020’s political journalism will be even worse than 2016’s. “This should be a time when people in the political press are searching for alternatives to the horse race,” Rosen says on the latest Recode Media. But they aren’t. [Peter Kafka]

This is cool

Phones have become boring, you say? Well, they’re about to get weird.

The great divide in how Americans commute to work.

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