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Ken Isaacs, the U.S. candidate to head the International Organization for Migration, during a press briefing at the UN headquarters in New York City on May 4, 2018. Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado via Getty Images

Member states of the International Organization of Migration rejected Ken Isaacs, the U.S. pick to lead the organization — a break with precedent that marks a striking rebuke of the Trump administration.

Why it matters: The move constitutes a pointed blow — delivered not without risk. The U.S. contributes roughly a third of the organization’s $1 billion operating budget and some fear that President Trump could retaliate by slashing funding.

The background: By tradition, the U.S. pick for the post gets to fill it. As a result, an American has been at the helm for decades. But President Trump’s “America first” migration policies are controversial, and so was his nominee. A former Bush administration official and a vice president of Samaritan’s Purse, Isaacs came under scrutiny for sharing anti-Islam views on Twitter.

Jessica Brandt is a fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution.

Go deeper

Exclusive: White House meeting with members of Problem Solvers Caucus

Members of the Problem Solvers Caucus discuss the COVID-19 relief bill in December. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Top White House officials will meet Wednesday with a bipartisan coalition of House lawmakers as the administration tries to enlist moderates to support the president's infrastructure proposal.

Why it matters: The meeting is something of an olive branch after President Biden's team courted groups of progressives to back the $2.2 trillion package.

45 mins ago - Health

The new vaccine threat is fear itself

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The FDA’s decision to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccine has set off a chain reaction of fear — about the safety of the vaccine, and about whether the FDA is overreacting — that's causing unnecessary drama just as the vaccine effort is finally picking up speed.

The big picture: Throughout the pandemic, the public and the media, and sometimes even regulators, have struggled to keep risks in perspective — to acknowledge them without exaggerating them, and to avoid downplaying them because other people will exaggerate them.

Cryptocurrency giant Coinbase heads to Wall Street

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Coinbase, the country's largest cryptocurrency exchange, is expected to go public today at what could be a valuation north of $100 billion.

Why it matters: This gives crypto a Wall Street seal of legitimacy, after an early existence marred by ties to illicit goods.