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Transcript: Sen. Katie Britt delivers Republican response to State of the Union address

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Freshman Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., seen in the Capitol during votes on Jan. 9, delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on Thursday.
Freshman Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., seen in the Capitol during votes on Jan. 9, delivered the Republican response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union address on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

REPUBLICAN SEN. KATIE BRITT OF ALABAMA:

Good evening, America. My name is Katie Britt, and I have the honor of serving the people of the great state of Alabama in the United States Senate. However, that’s not the job that matters most. I am a proud wife and mom of two school age kids. My daughter Bennett [Sp] and my son Ridgeway [Sp] are why I ran for the Senate.

I’m worried about their future and the future of children in every corner of our nation, and that’s why I invited you into our home tonight. Like so many families across America, my husband Wesley and I just watched President Biden’s State of the Union address from our living room. And what we saw was the performance of a permanent politician who has actually been in office for longer than I’ve been alive.

One thing was quite clear, though. President Biden just doesn’t get it. He’s out of touch. Under his administration, families are worse off, our communities are less safe, and our country is less secure. I just wish he understood what real families are facing around kitchen tables just like this one. You know, this is where our family has tough conversations.

It’s where we make hard decisions. It’s where we share the good, the bad, and the ugly of our days. It’s where we laugh together, and it’s where we hold each other’s hands and pray for God’s guidance. And many nights, to be honest, it’s where Wesley and I worry. I know we’re not alone. And so tonight, the American family needs to have a tough conversation, because the truth is we’re all worried about the future of our nation.

The country we know and love seems to be slipping away, and it feels like the next generation will have fewer opportunities and less freedoms than we did. I worry my own children may not even get a shot at living their American dreams. My American dream allowed me, the daughter of two small business owners from rural Enterprise, Alabama, to be elected to the United States Senate at the age of 40. Growing up sweeping the floor at my dad’s hardware store and cleaning the bathroom at my mom’s dance studio, I never could have imagined what my story would entail.

To think about what the American Dream can do across just one generation in just one lifetime, it’s truly breathtaking. But right now, the American dream has turned into a nightmare for so many families. The true unvarnished state of our union begins and ends with this. Our families are hurting. Our country can do better.

And you don’t have to look any further than the crisis at our southern border to see it. President Biden inherited the most secure border of all time. But minutes after taking office, he suspended all deportations, he halted construction of the border wall, and he announced a plan to give amnesty to millions.

We know that President Biden didn’t just create this border crisis. He invited it with 94 executive actions in his first 100 days. When I took office, I took a different approach. I traveled to the Del Rio sector of Texas. That’s where I spoke to a woman who shared her story with me. She had been sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12. She told me not just that she was raped every day, but how many times a day she was raped.

The cartels put her on a mattress in a shoebox of a room, and they sent men through that door over and over again for hours and hours on end. We wouldn’t be ok with this happening in a third world country. This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace.

This crisis is despicable, and the truth is it is almost entirely preventable. From fentanyl poisonings to horrific murders, there are empty chairs tonight at kitchen tables just like this one because of President Biden’s senseless border policies. Just think about Laken Riley. In my neighboring state of Georgia, this beautiful 22 year old nursing student went out on a jog one morning, but she never got the opportunity to return home.

She was brutally murdered by one of the millions of illegal border crossers President Biden chose to release into our homeland. Y’all, as a mom, I can’t quit thinking about this. I mean, this could have been my daughter. This could have been yours. And tonight, President Biden finally said her name, but he refused to take responsibility for his own actions.

Mr. president, enough is enough. Innocent Americans are dying, and you only have yourself to blame. Fulfill your oath of office, reverse your policies, end this crisis, and stop the suffering. Sadly, we know that President Biden’s failures don’t stop there. His reckless spending dug our economy into a hole and sent the cost of living through the roof.

We have the worst inflation in 40 years and the highest credit card debt in our nation’s history. Let that sink in. Hard working families are struggling to make ends meet today. And with soaring mortgage rates and sky high childcare costs, they’re also struggling to how to plan for tomorrow. The American people are scraping by while President Biden proudly proclaims that Bidenomics is working.

Goodness, y’all. Bless his heart. We know better. I’ll never forget stopping at a gas station in Chilton County one evening. The gentleman working the counter told me that after retiring he had to pick up a job in his 70s so that he didn’t have to choose between going hungry or going without his medication.

He said I did everything right. I did everything I was told to do. I worked hard. I saved. I was responsible. He’s not alone. I hear similar concerns from fellow parents, whether I am walking with my friends or whether I’m at my kid’s games. But let’s be honest, it’s been a minute since Joe Biden pumped gas, ran a carpool, or even pushed a grocery cart.

Meanwhile, the rest of us see our dollar, and we know it doesn’t go as far. We see it every day. And despite what he tells you, our communities are not safer. For years, the left has coddled criminals and defunded the police, all while letting repeat offenders walk free. The result is tragic but foreseeable.

From our small towns to America’s most iconic city streets, life is getting more and more dangerous. And unfortunately, President Biden’s weakness isn’t just hurting families here at home. He is making us a punchline on the world stage. Look, where I’m from, your word is your bond. But for three years, the president has demonstrated that America’s word doesn’t mean what it used to. From abandoning our allies in his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan to desperately pushing another dangerous deal with Iran, President Biden has failed.

We’ve become a nation in retreat. And the enemies of freedom, they see an opportunity. Putin’s brutal aggression in Europe has put our allies on the brink. Iran’s terrorist proxies have slaughtered Israeli Jews and American citizens. They’ve targeted commercial shipping and they’ve attacked our troops nearly 200 times since October, killing three US soldiers and two Navy Seals. Meanwhile, the Chinese Communist Party is undercutting America’s workers. China is buying up our farmland, spying on our military installations and spreading propaganda through the likes of TikTok. You see, the CCP knows that if it conquers the minds of our next generation, it conquers America.

And what does President Biden do? Well, he bans TikTok for government employees, but creates an account for his own campaign. Y’all, you can’t make this stuff up. Look, we all recall when presidents faced national security threats with strength and resolve; that seems like ancient history. Right now, our commander in chief is not in command.

The free world deserves better than a dithering and diminished leader. America deserves leaders who recognize that secure borders, stable prices, safe streets, and a strong defense are actually the cornerstones of a great nation. Just ask yourself, are you better off now than you were three years ago? There’s no doubt we’re at a crossroads and it doesn’t have to be this way.

We all feel it. But here’s the good news. We the people are still in the driver’s seat. We get to decide whether our future will grow brighter or whether we’ll settle for an America in decline. Well, I know which choice our children deserve and I know the choice the Republican Party is fighting for. We are the party of hard working parents and families and we want to give you and your children the opportunities to thrive and we want families to grow.

It’s why we strongly support continued nationwide access to in-vitro fertilization. We want to help loving moms and dads bring precious life into this world. Wesley and I believe there is no greater blessing in life than our children. And that’s why tonight I want to make a direct appeal to the parents out there and in particular to my fellow moms, many of whom I know will be up tossing and turning at 2:00 am wondering how you’re going to be in three places at once and then somehow still get dinner on the table?

First of all, we see you, we hear you, and we stand with you. I know you’re frustrated. I know you’re probably disgusted by most of what you see going on in Washington. And I’ll be really honest with you, you’re not wrong for feeling that way. Look, I get it. The task in front of us isn’t an easy one, but I can promise you one thing.

It is worth it. So I am asking you for the sake of your kids and your grandkids, get into the arena. Every generation has been called to do hard things. American greatness rests in the fact that we always answer that call. It’s who we are. Never forget we are steeped in the blood of patriots who overthrew the most powerful empire in the world.

We walk in the footsteps of pioneers who tamed the wild. We now carry forward the same flame of freedom as the liberators of an oppressed Europe. We continue to draw courage from those who bent the moral arc of the universe. And when we gaze upon the heavens, never forget that our DNA contains the same ingenuity that put man on the moon.

America has been tested before and every single time we’ve emerged unbowed and unbroken. Our history has been written with the grit of men and women who got knocked down, but we know their stories because they did not stay down. We are here because they stood back up. So now it’s our turn our moment to stand up and prove ourselves worthy of protecting the American Dream.

Together, we can reawaken the heroic spirit of a great nation because America, we don’t just have a rendezvous with destiny, we take destiny’s hand and we lead it. Our future starts around kitchen tables just like this, with moms and dads just like you. And you are why I believe with every fiber of my being that despite the current state of our union, our best days are still ahead.

May God bless you, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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