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Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) responded to language from the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that suggested federal relief for state governments would amount to a "blue state bailout," calling it "complete nonsense" in an interview with Politico Playbook.

Why it matters: Hogan, a Republican and the chairman of the National Governors' Association, has been among the loudest voices sounding the alarm over the massive state revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus. He predicted Maryland would have $2.8 billion budget deficit by July 1.

What he's saying: "That's complete nonsense," Hogan said about McConnell's comments. "These are well-run states. There are just as many Republicans as Democrats that strongly support this."

  • "I'm hopeful that we're going to be able to — between the administration and the 55 governors in America, including the territories — we're going to convince Sen. McConnell that maybe he shouldn't let all the states go bankrupt."

The big picture: Hogan's comments come as Congress prepares to move on to its phase four coronavirus relief legislation, which Democrats hope will include funding for state and local governments. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that President Trump has agreed to push for the funding.

  • McConnell, meanwhile, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that he didn't want to "just send a blank check down to states and local governments to spend anyway they choose to." He instead suggested allowing them to file for bankruptcy.
  • Cuomo responded by calling McConnell's bankruptcy suggestion "one of the really dumb ideas of all time."

Go deeper: Cuomo tears into McConnell for suggesting states should declare bankruptcy

Go deeper

Meadows: White House and Democrats are "nowhere close to a deal" on stimulus

Mnuchin and Meadows. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told reporters after meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday that the two sides are "nowhere close to a deal" on a coronavirus stimulus bill, acknowledging that extra unemployment benefits will expire on Friday.

Why it matters: More than 32 million Americans are currently receiving some form of unemployment benefits, according to the most recent Labor Department data. Democrats had hoped to extend the $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit passed in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, but the Senate GOP remains extremely divided.

Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults

A vaccination center installed at the Barbara Chapel of St Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Alex Halada/AFP via Getty Images

Austria's lower house of parliament voted on Thursday in favor of making COVID-19 vaccinations compulsory for most adults from next month.

Why it matters: The bill is expected to soon pass the upper house and be signed by President Alexander Van der Bellen in order for the law to take effect Feb. 1, per Reuters. It'd make Austria the first EU nation to impose such a sweeping mandate.

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.