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Sen. David Perdue and challenger Jon Ossoff. Photos: Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Georgia's final Senate debate between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Democrat Jon Ossoff was canceled Thursday, after the Republican senator pulled out of Sunday's scheduled event so he could instead rally with President Trump, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Why it matters: The race between Perdue and Ossoff could prove pivotal in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate. Cook Political Report rates the race as a "Toss-up."

What they're saying: "Senator Perdue just cancelled our final debate," Ossoff tweeted Thursday.

  • "At last night's debate, millions saw that Perdue had no answers when I called him out on his record of blatant corruption, widespread disease, and economic devastation. Shame on you, Senator."

The other side: Perdue will instead join Trump for a campaign rally in Rome, his spokesperson John Burke told AJC.

  • “As lovely as another debate listening to Jon Ossoff lie to the people of Georgia sounds, Senator Perdue will not be participating,” Burke added in a statement to local media.
  • The rally has yet to be formally announced by the president's campaign.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

Episode 6: Last stand in Georgia

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Drew Angerer, Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 6: Georgia had not backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992 and Donald Trump's defeat in this Deep South stronghold, and his reaction to that loss, would help cost Republicans the U.S. Senate as well. Georgia was Trump's last stand.

On Air Force One, President Trump was in a mood. He had been clear he did not want to return to Georgia, and yet somehow he'd been conscripted into another rally on the night of Jan. 4.

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
58 mins ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.