Those wanting to hear the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight will have multiple options as lawmakers jockey for the public’s ear.
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the No. 4 ranking GOP in the lower chamber, will deliver the official Republican address to the nation after Obama speaks.
“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is proof that with humility, hard work, and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle – a story to which many Americans can relate,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. “Through the lens of her family’s experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government. We are grateful to Cathy for lending her voice and perspective to this national occasion.”
McMorris Rodgers gave birth to all three of her children while in office. The eldest, Cole, has Down syndrome.
She was the first in her family to graduate from college and ascended to the GOP leadership ranks in 2009.
“Cathy McMorris Rodgers is an excellent choice to present the Republican Address and share an alternative approach to the President’s plans to grow an already enormous federal bureaucracy,” Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “Her experience, hard work and commitment to family provide an example that Americans outside the halls of Congress understand. A strong advocate of empowering citizens rather than just the federal government, Cathy is the right choice to deliver this important address.”
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) will deliver the official GOP response in Spanish.
The official Tea Party response to the State of the Union, a tradition that began in 2011, will be delivered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) from the National Press Club after McMorris Rodgers’ reponse.
Lee has been soliciting ideas for the response on his Facebook page. His speech is expected to point out Obama’s role in creating income inequality and offer new ideas for the war on poverty.
Lee’s ally Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who delivered the official Tea Party response last year, will deliver his own State of the Union response tonight. Paul will post his speech, recorded in his office, on YouTube and promote it with cable news appearances.
And the Congressional Progressive Caucus will deliver a “people’s response” to the State of the Union via conference call.