Congressional freshman Veronica Escobar (D-TX) will deliver the Democrats’ State of the Union rebuttal in Spanish on Tuesday night.
Escobar, who made history in 2017 when she and Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) became the first Latinas elected to Congress from Texas, called the opportunity “incredible.”
“It is incredible,” Escobar told the Texas Tribune. “In some respects, I can’t believe it’s even happening and that I’m fortunate enough to be able to do this.”
When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced on January 24 that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer would deliver the response speech in English and Escobar would do so in Spanish, they added that the Latina politician’s “values and vision beautifully represent our party and our country.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa agreed, referring to Escobar as an “inspiration to Texans everywhere because she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to fight for what’s right.”
Escobar will give her speech at the Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe, a community care clinic in El Paso that has been offering health care and housing services since 1967, when a group of mothers and grandmothers opened the facility for their low-income community.
The location is very intentional. Escobar told the newspaper it’s “a powerful symbol for the work we are doing as Democrats to try to help people, versus what the president and his party are doing to literally attack community health centers and American’s health care.”
The politician adds that many in her district are upset over rising prescription costs and fear that the Trump administration will erase parts of the Affordable Care Act
“It’s important for me in my Democratic response that I remind the country that it’s Democrats who’ve been fighting for their health care,” Escobar told NBC News.
Escobar made headlines at last year’s State of the Union address when Twitter users suggested she said “no mames” during President Donald Trump’s speech. The elected official has been a fierce critic of Trump, declaring in August 2019 that the president was not welcome in El Paso following the mass shooting at a local Walmart targeting Latinos that killed 22 people.
Trump’s State of the Union speech is set to begin around 9 p.m. ET and the Democrats’ rebuttal will follow.