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Who is Sen. Katie Britt, who will deliver the Republican State of the Union response?

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt is set to deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union.
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Alabama Sen. Katie Britt is set to deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union.

Katie Britt, a first-term Republican senator from Alabama, has been selected by party leadership to deliver the GOP response to President Biden's State of the Union address Thursday.

"Americans are struggling amid a border catastrophe, crushing inflation, an increasingly dangerous world, and fears about a President not up to the task. Against this backdrop, Senator Katie Britt will share her incredible story as the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the state of Alabama," said Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., in a statement. "As the only current Republican mom of school-aged kids serving in the Senate, Katie is fighting to preserve the American Dream for the next generation."

"The American people will tune in as the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate turns the page on the oldest President in history," Johnson said.

Who is Katie Britt?

Britt was born and raised in Enterprise, Ala., where her parents owned a hardware store and dance studio. She and her husband, Wesley, a former NFL player, live in Montgomery with their two children, Bennett and Ridgeway.

She attended the University of Alabama for her undergraduate and law degrees and was a long-time staff member for her predecessor, Sen. Richard Shelby, before his retirement in 2022.

What will Katie Britt say in her response to Biden's State of the Union address?

Britt, like many of her fellow Republicans, is an outspoken critic of the Biden administration's response to record levels of migrant arrivals at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Announcing her opposition to a failed bipartisan immigration reform proposal last month, Britt said that the president "has made it clear that he doesn't want to end the border crisis – he wants to enable it."

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NPR

She also presents a striking visual contrast to both President Biden and many of her Senate colleagues. Britt, 42, is one of nine women in the Senate Republican conference and one of just five senators under the age of 45.

"The Republican Party is the party of hardworking parents and families, and I'm looking forward to putting this critical perspective front and center," Britt said in a statement. "There is no doubt that President Biden's failed presidency has made America weaker and more vulnerable at every turn. At this decisive moment in our country's history, it's time for the next generation to step up and preserve the American Dream for our children and our grandchildren."

In a presidential election year, it is also likely that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will loom large in her remarks.

Britt endorsed Trump in a December op-ed, writing that "despite the dark clouds that haunt our country's horizon, I believe with every fiber of my being that our nation's best days are yet to come," touting what she sees as Trump's leadership on the border and embrace of "peace through strength."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eric McDaniel
Eric McDaniel edits the NPR Politics Podcast. He joined the program ahead of its 2019 relaunch as a daily podcast.