116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Gov. Kim Reynolds will give Republicans’ response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, congressional Republican leaders announced Tuesday.
The annual State of the Union address is scheduled for March 1. Biden will deliver his remarks to a joint session of Congress. Reynolds will deliver Republicans’ message afterward from Des Moines.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, of California, made the announcement Tuesday.
A joint news release said Reynolds during the COVID-19 pandemic “became a national leader in effectively balancing lives and livelihoods” and said she was the nation’s first governor to require schools to offer to open for full-time, in-person instruction.
Roughly 9,000 Iowans have died of COVID-19, and the state’s rate of 283 deaths per 100,000 residents is the 20th-lowest in the country, according to federal data.
The news release also credited Reynolds for sending Iowa State Patrol officers to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with immigration enforcement.
“Republican governors across America are leading the charge in defending liberty and securing unmatched economic prosperity in our states,” Reynolds said in the news release.
“The Biden administration is governing from the far-left, ignoring the problems of working-class Americans while pushing an agenda that stifles free speech, free thought, and economic freedom. The American people have had enough, but there is an alternative and that’s what I look forward to sharing on Tuesday evening.”
Reynolds follows in the footsteps of her friend and fellow Iowa Republican, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, who gave the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in 2015.
Last year, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, of South Carolina, provided the Republican response.
“In Iowa, we have seen what proven leadership looks like under our governor and my friend, Kim Reynolds, someone who is cutting taxes, expanding opportunity, and standing up for our students and families,” Ernst said in a statement.
“I can’t think of a better person to make the case for freedom and liberty and against the radical Biden agenda than Gov. Reynolds.”
Matt Sinovic, executive director of the progressive advocacy organization Progress Iowa, issued a statement that said Biden has delivered for working families and called Reynolds a “corporate sellout.”
“Over the last year, while President Biden worked to get Americans vaccinated and back to work, Corporate Kim Reynolds put our families in unsafe conditions to fatten her corporate donors’ profits and worsen her workforce crisis,” Sinovic said in the statement. “We deserve better. It’s time our nation’s leaders agree to put people over corporations. Instead of selling corporate greed on the nation’s stage, Gov. Reynolds should stay home and work to solve her workforce crisis.”
This will be Biden’s first State of the Union address as president. Last year he spoke to a joint session of Congress in April, but that was not a State of the Union address.
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