Sen. Tim Scott will deliver Republican response to Biden’s first address to Congress

Scott's response will make the face of the GOP's only Black senator theirs on where they stand with police across America.

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Republican Senator Tim Scott will deliver his party’s response to President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week.

Scott, the only Black Republican senator in the United States Congress, was named on Thursday.

South Carolina’s Tim Scott (above), the only Black Republican senator in Congress, is set to deliver his party’s response to President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress next week. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

In a statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Scott “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.”

Biden will address a joint session of Congress Wednesday as he nears his first 100 days in office. The president was invited by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote in a letter that it was an opportunity for Biden to “share your vision for addressing the challenges and opportunities of this historic moment.”

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In a statement, Scott said, “We face serious challenges on multiple fronts, but I am as confident as I have ever been in the promise and potential of America. I look forward to having an honest conversation with the American people and sharing Republicans’ optimistic vision for expanding opportunity and empowering working families.”

He said he is “excited and honored for this opportunity to address the nation.” The South Carolina senator has been the lead Republican in negotiation on Congress’ bipartisan police reform efforts, working aside two Black Democrats, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Karen Bass of California.

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As the announcement comes just a week after the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd, it is likely that in his address, Biden will urge Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

Among other things, it will lower the standard of criminal intent from willful to knowing or reckless to convict law enforcement officers for misconduct in federal prosecutions. It will also limit qualified immunity and create a National Police Misconduct Registry that will compile data on complaints and records of police misconduct.

Scott’s response will make the face of the Republicans’ only Black senator theirs on where they stand with American police.

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