Not to be outdone this year the Republican Party will have three responses to President Barack Obama's 2014 State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. On Thursday, Jan. 23, the GOP announced the official response for the party will be given by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, from Washington State who is also the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, the top ranking Republican woman in Congress. Additionally the Tea Party Express will have their own response, which be delivered by Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, while Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY will add a third to boost his profile and for good measure.
Both Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, R-OH and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY announced that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will deliver the official response, praising her personal story and experience.
Speaker Boehner in his statement commended Rep. McMorris Rodgers' background and her professional success; "Cathy McMorris Rodgers is proof that with humility, hard work, and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle - a story to which many Americans can relate, proof that with humility, hard work and dedication, you can overcome any obstacle."
Continuing, Boehner highlighted that "Through the lens of her family's experiences, Cathy will share our vision for a better America built on a thriving middle class, guided by a fierce belief in life and liberty, and grounded in greater trust between citizens and their government."
While Sen. McConnell stated she is "an excellent choice to present the Republican Address" and that in the response McMorris Rodgers will "share an alternative approach to the President’s plans to grow an already enormous federal bureaucracy." Continuing, McConnell said; "Her experience, hard work and commitment to family provide an example that Americans outside the halls of Congress understand. A strong advocate of empowering citizens rather than just the federal government, Cathy is the right choice to deliver this important address."
Rep. McMorris Rodgers was excited to be chosen for the primetime spot and opportunity to represent the entire party. McMorris Rodgers took to Twitter to express her excitement; "Tremendously honored to speak with you and share our Republican vision for America after the #SOTU on Tuesday!" In a statement, she also expressed that "I am honored to speak with Americans in every corner of the country on Tuesday and to share our Republican vision for a better future – one that trusts the American people and doesn’t limit where you finish because of where you started."
Rep. McMorris Rodgers, 44 was first elected to the House in 2004; she previously served in Washington's State House, and was also the first in her family to graduate college. Besides being a professional success, she is also is a superb example of today' woman; balancing career and family, she had all three of her children while serving in Congress, with her third child, just born in November; she the first women in Congress to have that distinction.
As the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, she holds the "no. 4 GOP leadership post." Republicans are looking to highlight and raise the profile of the women in their party, because of Democrats have accused the GOP of a "war on women." Additionally the GOP did not fare as well with women voters in the last election with a 10 percent discrepancy with the Democrats, and the party needs women voters to keep the House and gain control of the Senate.
The Tea Party Express, the main Tea Party "political action committee" chose Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah to give the GOP's faction's response. For the past few years the Tea Party has contributed their own response to Obama's State of the Union Address, which is usually given after the official GOP response.
The chairwoman of the Tea Party Express Amy Kremer issued a statement about the choice of Lee; "For the Tea Party movement, 2014 is not just about taking back the Senate, but it is also about putting forward conservative ideas that will allow for America to prosper. Senator Mike Lee has been both a Tea Party hero for supporters across the nation, and a conservative leader in the upper chamber."
Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY, will independently give a third response to the State the Union. Unlike the official GOP and the Tea Party Express responses, Paul's will not be given live, but taped in advance and then posted on YouTube, however he will be speaking on both CNN and Fox News after the address bringing his response to the forefront. Paul gave the official Tea Party response last year, and it is widely speculated that his is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
The Republicans are hoping to gain control of the entire Congress in the midterm elections this November; they hope to maintain control of the House of Representatives and gain control of the Senate.