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Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott's (R-S.C.) response to President Biden's joint address to Congress on Wednesday argued that former President Trump deserves credit for the current administration's victories, including on COVID-19.

Why it matters: Biden's joint address was his most significant attempt yet to sell members of Congress on his policy priorities. Scott's response offered no concessions.

  • "This administration inherited a tide that had already turned," Scott said. "The coronavirus is on the run. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines..."
  • "Our best future will not come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams," Scott said, adding, "It will come from you — the American people."

The senator from South Carolina also shut down Biden's infrastructure pitches — which the president heavily focused on in his address.

  • Scott added that, "Republicans support everything you think of when you think of infrastructure," but that Biden's plan is "big government waste, plus the biggest jobs killing tax hikes in a generation."

The state of play: Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, also argued against Biden's talking points on systemic racism.

  • "Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately than our discussion of race..." the senator remarked.
  • "America is not a racist country. It is wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates," Scott said.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Aug 3, 2021 - Axios Denver

Cost, developer behind Denver's Fairfax Park stir new controversy

Construction crews work to finish Fairfax Park in Park Hill. Photo: John Frank/Axios

A controversial new park in a Denver neighborhood is over budget — and the extra taxpayer dollars are flowing to a construction company run by the brother of the city's deputy parks director.

Why it matters: The new details, first reported this week by the Greater Park Hill News, only exacerbate the frustration surrounding a development that won approval despite significant questions about gentrification and transparency.

2 hours ago - World

U.S. will give Russians written response to NATO demands, Blinken says

Blinken and Lavrov shake hands in Geneva. Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed after a meeting with his Russian counterpart on Friday that the U.S. will provide written answers to Russia's security demands next week.

Why it matters: Russia claims to be waiting for "concrete answers" to its demands that NATO rule out further expansion and roll back its presence in eastern Europe before deciding its next steps on Ukraine. But the U.S. and NATO have called those proposals "non-starters," and Friday's meeting offered no breakthroughs, so it's unclear how written answers might change the equation.

More surprises await scientists at Antarctica's "Doomsday Glacier"

Cliffs along the edge of the Thwaites Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. Photo: James Yungel/NASA

Researchers like David Holland, an atmospheric scientist at New York University, are in a race to understand the fate of a massive glacier in West Antarctica that has earned a disquieting nickname: "The Doomsday Glacier."

Why it matters: Studies show the Thwaites Glacier (its official name) could already be on an irreversible course to melt during the next several decades to centuries, freeing up enough inland ice to raise global sea levels by at least several feet.

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