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Samantha Power at the 2019 Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday nominated Samantha Power, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Why it matters: Biden's decision to bring Power, another veteran of the Obama years, into the administration is a reflection of his intent to revitalize foreign assistance as an instrument of soft power and to achieve humanitarian goals, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.

The big picture: Biden also named Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall as homeland security adviser and deputy national security adviser on Wednesday.

  • Sherwood served as the White House defense policy coordinator under the Obama administration, and the deputy assistant defense secretary for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia in the Clinton administration.

Go deeper: More background on Power

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Biden sets his sights on China

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images  

The new administration's first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era's most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China's severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.

22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

GOP pivot: Big business to small dollars

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.