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McConnell during a break in the impeachment trial. (Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Amid the impeachment trial, a new independent expenditure group called Fix Our Senate will launch on Tuesday to go after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, organizers tell Axios.

Why it matters: As a national political figure, McConnell is both extremely powerful and highly unpopular, with a favorability rating of 29.8% in the latest average of polls tracked by Real Clear Politics.

What they're saying: "McConnell is already the least popular politician in America — now, we’re going to shine a light on McConnell and every ally who supports him," the group's director, Joshua Karp, a Democratic strategist and communications consultant, tells us.

Details: The group plans to conduct and disseminate research on McConnell and his record and leadership strategies to share with activists and surrogates and shape opinion.

  • It will argue that McConnell is disproportionately responsible for wealth inequality, rising drug prices, conservative judicial confirmations, hyper-partisanship, legislative gridlock and the likely acquittal of President Trump in the Senate trial.
  • The group has ties to SEIU, Demand Justice, Indivisible, Protect Our Care and For Our Future.

Between the lines: Fix Our Senate will be established as a 501(c)(4) under the U.S. tax code. That means donors' identities may stay shielded. The group declined to share its budget.

The other side: McConnell adviser Josh Holmes told Axios that the group is "welcome to take a number and get in line" in order "to fleece donors into underwriting yet another expedition in search the left’s white whale."

Be smart: Polling shows Trump is more popular than McConnell. The new effort appears aimed less at trying to defeat McConnell in Kentucky and more at asking U.S. voters to broadly associate Republican candidates and policies with negative feelings about McConnell.

Go deeper

House passes bill to decriminalize marijuana

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), a longtime marijuana legalization advocate and co-sponsor of the bill. Photo: Pete Marovich For The Washington Post via Getty Images

The House on Friday voted 228-164 in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional chamber has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level.

Why it matters: The Washington Post describes the bill as a "landmark retreat in the nation’s decades-long war on drugs," which has disproportionately affected people of color.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Fauci says he accepted Biden's offer to be chief medical adviser "on the spot" — Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office.
  2. Health: Coronavirus death rates rising across the country — Study: Increased COVID-19 testing can reduce transmission — Hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time.
  3. Economy: U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows — America's hidden depression: K-shaped recovery threatens Biden administration.
  4. Vaccine: What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do — Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take vaccine in public —WSJ: Pfizer expects to ship half as many COVID vaccines as planned in 2020.
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Clean trucks are paving the road to the electric vehicle era

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The electric vehicle revolution is underway, led by the un-sexiest of plug-in models: the commercial truck.

Why it matters: Growing demand for cleaner trucks means 2021 will be a pivotal year for electric vehicles — just not the kind you might have expected.