Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders will deliver the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.
CBS News will air the Republican response as part of the special report on the State of the Union.
Sanders was first elected in November as the first female governor in Arkansas history and the youngest current governor in the United States, after serving as White House press secretary to former President Donald Trump. The person from the opposition political party who is chosen for the response to the president’s speech is generally considered a promising person in political circles. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is considering a presidential run, delivered the response in 2021 and former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, who is also considering a White House run, delivered it in 2016.
Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona will give the Republican response in Spanish.
One issue that will surely come up is the debt ceiling, which must be raised or suspended to avoid default as the US hit the debt ceiling in mid-January. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has begun taking extraordinary measures to keep paying the nation’s creditors and others to avoid default, but she expects to hit the limit on those measures sometime in June.
Raising the debt limit will require the support of House Republicans, now in a majority, but there are deep disagreements with the White House about the way forward. Republicans are demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, while President Biden wants a “fair vote” on the debt limit.
On Monday, the eve of the State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gave a speech focused on the debt ceiling, calling the national debt the “greatest threat to our future.” He said the current pattern of spending, which he blamed on Democrats, is not an option, though he also stressed that cuts to Medicare and Social Security are “off the table.”
“Now, President Biden wants Congress to raise the debt limit yet again, without a single sensible change, in the way the government spends its hard-earned money,” McCarthy said. “Sounds responsible to you?”