South Carolina Senator Tim Scott to Give Biden Speech Rebuttal

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Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina will give the Republican Party’s nationally televised rebuttal Wednesday to President Joe Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress.

Scott, 55, brings a compelling background story to the national platform the rebuttal speech brings. The only Black Republican senator, he grew up in a poor, single-parent household in North Charleston. He has served in the Senate since 2013, and in the House before that.

He is currently leading negotiations for his party on a police reform bill.

“Senator Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in the Senate. He is one of the most inspiring and unifying leaders in our nation. I’m glad he’ll be delivering the Republican address following the president’s remarks on Wednesday,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a joint statement with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“I’m excited and honored for this opportunity to address the nation,” Scott said in a statement. “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.”

The annual response is often awarded to promising politicians to heighten their profiles. In 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic response after President Donald Trump’s final State of the Union address.

But the rebuttal is broadcast after a sometimes-lengthy presidential address, so it often turns out to either be not memorable or remembered for unflattering reasons.

Biden’s own speech will be unique because of plans to limit lawmakers and others inside the House chamber because of Covid-19 concerns and security worries.

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