Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address

Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address
© Greg Nash

Rep. Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Pence visits Orlando as all 50 states reopen The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Mnuchin, Powell: Economy may need more boost; Trump defends malaria drug Democrats lobby Biden on VP choice MORE (D-Texas) will give the Democrats' Spanish-language response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE's State of the Union address next month, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research The Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (D-N.Y.) announced Friday.

"Whether it's giving a voice to Latinos across America, or helping her home town of El Paso heal after gun violence, or holding the Trump Administration accountable for its assaults on the vulnerable, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar has embodied the best of public service in her first year in Congress," Schumer said in a statement. "At times like these, we need champions to step up, so I am thrilled she will deliver the Democratic Spanish-language response."

Escobar is a freshman lawmaker and one of the first two Latina members of Congress elected from Texas. Her district along the border with Mexico was previously represented by former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeBiden will help close out Texas Democrats' virtual convention: report O'Rourke on Texas reopening: 'Dangerous, dumb and weak' Parties gear up for battle over Texas state House MORE (D).

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She made national news during her first year in office in the wake of a shooting in El Paso that killed 22 people. When Trump was preparing to meet with victims of the shooting, Escobar said he was "not welcome" in the city while its residents were still mourning the dead.

"I would ask his staff and his team to consider the fact that his words and his actions have played a role in this," she said at the time.

A manifesto that was allegedly left by the accused shooter, who has pleaded not guilty, closely mirrored some of Trump’s statements about immigrants, including describing the influx of Latino migrants as an “invasion,” though the accused gunman said he held his beliefs before the president took office.

“Our diversity is our strength,” Escobar said in a tweet Friday after the announcement. “Now more than ever, Democrats will continue to celebrate our diversity, defend our democracy, and work for a more equal and just nation.”

Pelosi and Schumer also announced that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will give the English-language Democratic response to Trump's Feb. 4 speech.