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

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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.

Updated 43 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

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Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.