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South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott tapped to give response to Biden's first big speech to Congress


Biden will address Congress on Wednesday

Liz Lynch/Getty Images

The GOP response to President Joe Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress will be given by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.).

Congressional Republican leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) announced Thursday that Scott, the popular senator from South Carolina and the only black senator in the GOP conference, will deliver the Republican Party's response to Biden's speech in front of a national audience.

"Senator Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in our Senate Republican Conference. He is one of the most inspiring and unifying leaders in our nation," McConnell said in a statement. "As Sen. Scott likes to say, he is living his mother's American dream, and he has dedicated his career to creating more opportunity for our fellow citizens who need it most. Nobody is better at communicating why far-left policies fail working Americans. Senate Republicans are looking forward to this address from our distinguished colleague."

McCarthy offered a similar congratulatory statement praising Scott.

"I couldn't be more proud as a friend, as a Republican, and as an American to have Senator Tim Scott deliver the Republican response to President Biden's address next week. He is a conservative optimist with the right vision for a stronger, more united country. Today's Republican Party is a growing coalition of working Americans who value freedom in pursuit of the American dream. No member in Congress epitomizes the essence of today's Republican Party more than my friend and colleague Senator Scott," he said.

The Republican National Committee called Scott a "dynamic leader" in the party and "the perfect person" to respond to Biden.

"No amount of spin from Joe Biden can cover up his record of failure in office, including a raging border crisis, job-destroying Green New Deal-style policies, a refusal to follow the science on school re-openings, and an embrace of cancel culture. My friend Senator Tim Scott is a dynamic leader in our party and the perfect person to give a response that will hold Biden accountable while outlining the Republican agenda to create opportunities for every American," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.

Scott said he was "excited and honored for this opportunity to address the nation.

"We face serious challenges on multiple fronts, but I am as confident as I have ever been in the promise and potential of America. I look forward to having an honest conversation with the American people and sharing Republicans' optimistic vision for expanding opportunity and empowering working families," he said in a statement.

The response will be given following Biden's address on Wednesday.

U.S. presidents typically make their first address to Congress — which is not an official State of the Union address — shortly after they are inaugurated, usually sometime in February. Biden has waited much longer than previous modern presidents to address Congress.

Biden's first official State of the Union speech will be given in the second year of his four-year term.

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