U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez, D-Ill., who represents the Working Families Party in the heavily Latino 3rd Congressional District of Illinois will deliver the progressive response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Working Families Party of Illinois
Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Rep. Delia Ramirez -- a freshman Democrat from Chicago -- has been chosen to deliver the progressive response to President Joe Biden's State of the Union speech on Tuesday.
Ramirez, who represents the Working Families Party in the heavily Latino 3rd Congressional District of Illinois, is expected to demand stronger executive actions by the president and issue a rebuttal to Republican responses planned by Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Rep. Juan Ciscomani of Arizona.
"Delia will be laying out a vision for how Democrats can win working-class voters of all races and nationalities, by fighting for a government that has working people's backs," said Rep. Greg Casar, D-Texas.
Ramirez is also expected to call on the president to ensure that policies like lower drug prices and higher employee wages remain at the top of his list of priorities.
Any progressive wish list is sure to face an uphill battle in a House newly dominated by a Republican majority, with Democrats holding only a razor-thin advantage in the Senate.
In recent years, progressives and other Democratic caucuses have shared the stage of Biden's bully pulpit to promote policies deemed critical by the more liberal wings of the party.
Ramirez's response to Biden is expected to be more muted than that given a year ago by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., whom colleagues later accused of undermining the president's message.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced Sanders would deliver the usual Republican response to Biden's speech.
"She is the youngest governor in America, first female governor in Arkansas history, first father-daughter governance in history," McCarthy said on Twitter. "Everyone --including President Biden -- should tune in."
Sanders issued a statement welcoming the chance to address Biden's policies directly to the American people.
"What America needs -- and what Republicans are offering -- is a return to common sense and a commitment to the ideals that made America the land of the free and home of the brave," she wrote.
Ramirez accused Republicans of continuing to promote "extremism" in their choice for Sanders, suggesting the former White House press secretary had broken the public's trust during Donald Trump's presidency.
"That gives Democrats an opportunity -- if we can seize it," Ramirez said in a statement reported by Politico.
"Social Security, Medicare, abortion rights and comprehensive immigration reform are not political talking points. They're essential to our nation's well-being," she said. "We must also show working people how Democrats will deliver for them if they put us back in the majority. That's our path to a working families majority in Congress."
President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address in 2022, during which he announced the United States would close off its airspace to all Russian flights in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Photo by Saul Loeb/UPI | License Photo