Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will deliver the GOP response to President Barack Obama's 2015 State of the Union address on Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced at the House and Senate GOP retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
"Sen. Ernst brings a unique perspective to the Senate. She is a mother, a soldier and an independent leader who serves in Washington because Americans voted for change in the last election, and Joni understands that middle-class Americans want Congress to get back to work and that they want Washington to get refocused on their concerns, instead of those of the political class,” McConnell said in a statement Thursday.
Ernst was elected to the Senate in November, becoming the first woman elected to federal office from Iowa. She said she's "truly honored" to deliver the GOP address.
House Speaker John Boehner praised Ernst after the announcement Thursday.
"She knows that our federal government is too big, our spending is too high, and our tax code is broken," Boehner said. And, she knows first-hand the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make to keep us all safe in a dangerous world."
Other Republicans who have given the GOP response to the State of the Union address include Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.).
This year's State of the Union is taking place on Jan. 20.
This post has been updated.