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Who is Katie Britt, the senator who delivered the Republican State of the Union response?

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, selected by Republican leaders to deliver the response Thursday night to President Biden’s State of the Union address, offered a dark vision of America under his presidency and sought to portray him as old and out of touch with the needs of everyday Americans.

Who is Katie Britt?

Britt, who is 42, was elected as the junior senator from Alabama in 2022, winning the seat left open by former Sen. Richard Shelby. She ran against Rep. Mo Brooks in the Republican primary runoff, and initially, former President Donald Trump endorsed Brooks. Later, however, he withdrew his support when polls showed Brooks trailing. Trump endorsed Britt months later, after she had received the most votes in the primary and advanced to a runoff against Brooks.

Sen. Katie Britt speaks on border security during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 11, 2023.
Sen. Katie Britt speaks on border security during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on May 11, 2023.

Kevin Dietsch / Getty Images


In the Senate, she serves on the Appropriations, Banking and Rules Committees.

She’s the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate and the first woman to serve as senator from Alabama. Britt worked for Shelby as his longtime chief of staff and was also the president of the Business Council of Alabama.

Before leading Shelby’s office, she previously served as deputy campaign manager for his 2016 reelection bid.

She introduced herself to the nation in the Republican response as “a proud wife and mom of two school-aged kids” and said her children were “why I ran for the Senate.” Britt later said she’s lived her American dream — “the daughter of two small business owners from rural Enterprise, Alabama, to be elected to the U.S. Senate at the age of 40.”

Her husband, Wesley Britt, was her campaign chairman and is now a state lobbyist. He’s also a former NFL football player who spent four years as a tackle for the New England Patriots.

Britt’s State of the Union response

In her remarks — delivered from her kitchen table at her house in Montgomery, Alabama — Britt denounced Mr. Biden, and lambasted him for his policies on immigration, economics, crime and foreign policy. She noted the president’s age, referring to him as “a permanent politician who has actually been in office for longer than I’ve been alive.” 

Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama delivers the Republican response to President Biden's State of the Union response on the night of March 7, 2024.
Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama delivers the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union response on the night of March 7, 2024.

CBS News


“It’s been a minute since Joe Biden pumped gas, ran carpool or pushed a grocery cart,” Britt said. “Meanwhile, the rest of us see every day that our dollar doesn’t go as far.”

Britt said that the American people are “scraping by,” while the president touts the success of his economic policies, which the White House has dubbed “Bidenomics.”

“Right now, the American dream has turned into a nightmare for so many families,” Britt said. “The true, unvarnished state of our union begins and ends with this: Our families are hurting. Our country can do better.”

She tried to emphasize her own similarities to Americans across the country, talking about the discussions her family has around the kitchen table where she was seated and mentioning that she and her husband had “just watched President Biden’s State of the Union Address from our living room.” 

Immigration

Britt accused Mr. Biden of creating the current situation at the border with the executive actions he issued in his first 100 days in office. Calling his border policies “a disgrace,” she said, “This crisis is despicable and the truth is, it is almost entirely preventable.”

She attempted to stoke fear by proclaiming that “innocent Americans are dying,” teling Mr. Biden “you only have yourself to blame.” The Alabama Republican noted the murder of 22-year-old Laken Riley last month on the campus of the University of Georgia. The suspect in her death is a Venezuelan migrant, and Republicans have claimed her killing is a result of Mr. Biden’s border policies. Britt also talked about a woman she met in Texas who she said had been the victim of sex trafficking by cartels.

IVF and Alabama

Britt sought to assure voters that Republicans support access to in vitro fertilization treatments after the Alabama Supreme Court found last month that frozen embryos can be considered children under Alabama law, and providers could be prosecuted over damaged embryos. The decision caused many providers in the state to halt their programs while they evaluated their liability, resulting in the sudden cancellation of embryo transfers for women undergoing the treatment.

She characterized Republicans as the party of “hardworking parents and families” who are working to improve the nation’s future for the next generation and “want families to grow.” 

“It’s why we strongly support continued nationwide access to in vitro fertilization,” she said.

Earlier this week, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed legislation passed by the GOP-led Alabama Legislature to protect providers from lawsuits and prosecution over embryos that are damaged or destroyed during in vitro services.

Trump praises Britt’s GOP response

In a social media post, Trump called her a “great contrast” to Mr. Biden and said she was “compassionate and caring, especially concerning Women and Women’s Issues.” Trump also praised “[h]er conversation on Migrant Crime” as “powerful and insightful.” 

In December, Britt wrote an opinion piece on the site Yellowhammer to announce her endorsement of Trump. 

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