Apr 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Tim Scott to deliver Republicans' rebuttal to Biden's joint address

US Republican Senator for South Carolina Tim Scott speaks during the first day of the Republican convention

Republican for South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. Photo Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will deliver his party's response to President Biden's joint address to Congress next week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday.

Why it matters: The pick is a big deal in the post-Trump GOP as Republicans navigate what the future of the party will look like. Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, is widely seen as a rising star in the party who is well-liked by pro-Trump Republicans as well more moderate members.

  • The selection comes as Scott is working closely with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) on a potential bipartisan police reform deal in the wake of the Derek Chauvin trial.

What they're saying: “Sen. Tim Scott is not just one of the strongest leaders in our Senate Republican conference. He is one of the most inspiring and unifying leaders in our nation. As Sen. Scott likes to say, he is living his mother’s American dream, and he has dedicated his career to creating more opportunity for our fellow citizens who need it most," McConnell said.

  • “He is a conservative optimist with the right vision for a stronger, more united country," McCarthy added. "Today’s Republican Party is a growing coalition of working Americans who value freedom in pursuit of the American dream. No member in Congress epitomizes the essence of today’s Republican Party more than my friend and colleague Sen. Scott."
  • “We face serious challenges on multiple fronts, but I am as confident as I have ever been in the promise and potential of America," Scott said. "I look forward to having an honest conversation with the American people and sharing Republicans’ optimistic vision for expanding opportunity and empowering working families.”

Flashback: The Trump campaign gave Scott a primetime slot during the 2020 Republican National Convention, during which he gave a moving speech on race and achieving the American dream.

Go deeper