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Alabama Sen. Katie Britt to deliver Republican State of the Union response

WASHINGTON (AP) — Freshman Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, the youngest female senator, will deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech next week.

Britt, 42, is the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama. In a joint statement with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Mike Johnson, Britt said that “it’s time for the next generation to step up.”

“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.

Britt’s appearance comes amid backlash to a ruling by her state’s Supreme Court that said that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. Several clinics in the state announced they were pausing IVF services as they sort out the decision, leaving parents who were pursuing the treatments with an uncertain path.

Soon after the ruling, Britt made calls to fellow Republicans, including former President Donald Trump, to argue for the importance of supporting the treatments, emphasizing that they are pro-life and pro-family, according to a person familiar with the calls.

Trump, the front-runner for the GOP nomination, later came out with a statement saying that he strongly supports the availability of IVF and calling on lawmakers in Alabama to preserve access to it.

In a statement, Britt said that “defending life and ensuring continued access to IVF services for loving parents are not mutually exclusive.”

McConnell called Britt an “unapologetic optimist.”

“As one of our nation’s youngest Senators, she’s wasted no time becoming a leading voice in the fight to secure a stronger American future and leave years of Washington Democrats’ failures behind,” McConnell said.

Johnson noted that Britt is “the only current Republican mom of school-aged kids serving in the Senate” and said she is a “champion for strong families, a secure border, national defense and a vibrant economy with stable prices and opportunities for all.”

A former congressional staffer and attorney, Britt was elected in 2022. She replaced her former boss on the Senate Appropriations Committee, longtime Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby.

The Alabama senator’s response will come a year after another Republican mother, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, gave the speech last year. In her response, Sanders talked about Biden’s age as the oldest U.S. president. “It’s time for a new generation of Republican leadership,” she said.

Biden, 81, is expected to deliver the address Thursday, March 7.

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