Rep. Joe Kennedy III of Massachusetts will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address next week.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer made the announcement in a statement Thursday night. They called Kennedy "a relentless fighter for working Americans."
"Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country,” Pelosi said.
The 37-year-old grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy is serving his third term in the House. Kennedy rose to national prominence with a series of viral speeches chiding the president on health care and his lackluster response to the fatal white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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"From health care to economic justice, to civil rights, the Democratic agenda stands in powerful contrast to President Trump's broken promises to American families," said Kennedy. "I'm honored to have been chosen by Leader Pelosi and Leader Schumer to deliver our party's response."
"So proud of Congressman Joe Kennedy III! His honesty, humility and empathy are just what Americans need to hear after a year of Donald Trump's unparalleled scandals," posted aunt Kerry Kennedy on Facebook. "He's going to do a great job."
Kennedy lives in Newton with his wife, Lauren Birchfield Kennedy, and their two children, Eleanor and James.
This is the first official State of the Union that Trump will deliver as president. A month after taking office, Trump gave an address to a joint session of Congress with all the Pomp and Circumstance of a State of the Union address — which traditionally happens after the president's first year in office.
The last State of the Union was delivered by former President Barack Obama on Jan. 12, 2016. Then South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley gave the Republican response.
The State of the Union will air on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 9 p.m. ET