The Latest: In GOP response, Scott says US isn’t racist

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Member of Congress applaud as President Joe Biden speaks to a joint session of Congress Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

WASHINGTON – The Latest on President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress (all times local):

11 p.m.

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has used the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s address to Congress to vow that “America is not a racist country.”

Scott, the only Black Republican senator, seized on Biden’s calls earlier in the evening that passage of major police reform could help stamp out institutional racism nationwide. Scott countered that “today, kids are being taught the color of their skin defines them again. If they look a certain way, they’re the oppressor.”

He said Biden and other top Democrats have begun crying racism too frequently when it comes to unrelated policy disputes, saying “race is not a political weapon to settle every issue.” He bristled at Democratic suggestions that voting rights restrictions passed by GOP-controlled legislatures around the country were meant to keep minority Americans from casting ballots.

Scott argued that the economy under Republican President Donald Trump boomed, helping to lower unemployment dramatically for Black and Hispanic Americans before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Scott also chided congressional Democrats for opposing legislation he personally championed on police reform, arguing that, going forward, Americans of all races should unite since they “are all in this together.”

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