Republicans will not provide an official Spanish response to President Joe Biden’s speech to Congress on Wednesday night, breaking a modern tradition that has become standard with the annual address.
Instead, the Republican National Committee will translate the English response from GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, and – most-likely – release it after it’s done, a party source confirmed to CNN.
The tradition of the Spanish response to the President’s annual address or State of the Union speech dates back to 2004, when then-Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico rebutted George W. Bush on the effect the then-President’s policies had on the Hispanic community and immigration in the US.
Since then, a Spanish response to the address has become almost standard. The only year without one was 2009, the year of President Barack Obama’s first address to Congress.
GOP Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart of Florida gave the first Republican Spanish response to a State of the Union address in 2010.
In 2013, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, also of Florida, became the first official to give both the English and Spanish response. He pre-taped the Spanish version before his live response in English.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart is still in Congress.