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Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, according to people familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: Raimondo, a Rhodes scholar who co-founded a venture capital firm in Rhode Island earlier in her career, has prioritized good relationships with the business community, the target audience of commerce.

  • Nonetheless, Raimondo has also clashed with unions as she worked to reform Rhode Island’s public employee pension plans.
  • She also served as a national co-chair for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign, endorsing Biden only after the former New York mayor dropped out.

The big picture: Biden had been considering a prominent CEO or a Republican to lead the Commerce Department.

  • In considering Raimondo, he appears to be moving to a more traditional choice.
  • Raimondo, 49, and former chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association, is seen as a rising star in her party.

The intrigue: Raimondo also was under consideration to serve as secretary of health and human services, a job that eventually went to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

  • In early December, she appeared to take herself out of the running by saying during a press conference, “I am not going to be President-elect Biden’s nominee for HHS secretary.”

Go deeper

GOP research firm aims to hobble Biden nominees

Alejandro Mayorkas. Photo: Joshua Roberts/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-aligned opposition research group America Rising is doing all it can to prevent President Biden from seating his top Cabinet picks.

Why it matters: After former President Trump inhibited the transition, Biden is hoping the Republican minority in Congress will cooperate with getting his team in place. Biden hadn't even been sworn in when America Rising began blasting opposition research to reporters targeting Janet Yellen and Alejandro Mayorkas.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.