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Caroline Kennedy (left) and Michelle Kwan (right). Photos: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe (left), Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images (right).

President Biden on Wednesday announced he intends to nominate Caroline Kennedy as ambassador to Australia and Olympian Michelle Kwan as ambassador to Belize.

Why it matters: Senate confirmations of Biden's diplomatic appointments have been slow compared to his predecessors, and embassy roles have remained empty.

Details: It's the second high-profile assignment for Kennedy, a lawyer and the daughter of former President John F. Kennedy, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan during the Obama administration.

Kwan, the Olympic medalist and the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history, earned a master's degree from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and began working with the State Department in 2006.

  • She joined Biden's presidential campaign staff in 2019 as surrogate director and also worked on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Biden also announced picks for UN, defense, commerce, education and energy positions.

Go deeper: Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Go deeper

Biden names Sarah Bloom Raskin as Fed's top banking regulator

Sarah Bloom Raskin during a Fed meeting in 2013. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden will nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin as the Federal Reserve's top Wall Street cop, a Biden administration official said, one of three nominees being unveiled for the critical open seats on the central bank's board of governors.

Why it matters: It's Biden's biggest mark yet on the influential economic body that's center stage as the country grapples with inflation rising at the fastest pace in decades and a recovering labor market.

Focus group: Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Pool/Getty Images 

As President Biden approaches the one-year mark of his presidency, some swing voters say his handling of the pandemic has weakened him in their eyes.

  • But they see him projecting strength when he talks about protecting American democracy.

Driving the news: These were key takeaways from the latest Engagious/Schlesinger swing-voter focus groups for Axios, conducted Tuesday, just days after the president's Jan. 6 anniversary speech.

Updated 14 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tax season nightmare ahead for understaffed IRS

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The IRS will start accepting 2021 tax returns in less than a week, and the filing delays and administrative headaches to come might eclipse last year — which was “one of the worst filing seasons," according to an independent advocacy agency within the IRS.

Why it matters: For taxpayers, especially with complex or paper filings, this means headaches, delayed refunds, and mistakes.