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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 $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.