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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.

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senators grill top Pentagon leaders over Biden's Afghanistan exit

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, and the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. Frank McKenzie, are testifying before Congress for the first time since the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The latest: Austin said in his opening statement that military leaders began planning for a non-combatant evacuation of Kabul as early as the spring, and that this is the only reason U.S. troops were able to start the operation so quickly when the Taliban captured the city. "Was it perfect? Of course not," Austin acknowledged.

Congress must raise the debt limit by Oct. 18, Yellen warns

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during a press conference at the Capitol on Sept. 23. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter Tuesday that the United States will likely begin to default on its loans shortly after Oct. 18 if Congress fails to raise or suspend the debt ceiling by then.

Why it matters: The U.S. has never defaulted on its financial obligations, and Yellen has previously warned that doing so would cause irreparable damage to the U.S. economy and global financial markets.

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