Republican State of the Union rebuttal will be delivered by Sen. Katie Britt. (Part-2)

Britt has rarely voted against the party line or Trump on important topics. While many new Republican senators, all men, came at the same time last year and joined the right edge of the GOP conference in attacking McConnell's leadership, her approach has varied. In Munich this month, Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance expressed his opposition to Ukraine help to European friends.

Britt has preferred to work behind the scenes, building relationships with colleagues and waiting to make her Senate floor debut. She also intentionally bonded with freshmen Democratic Sens. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania and Peter Welch of Vermont. Britt considers the three senators her friends because they often eat dinner together.

After Fetterman took himself in for depression treatment at the beginning of last year, Britt was one of the only persons the Democrat invited to see him in the hospital. She and her husband, former NFL star Wesley Britt, still get out with Fetterman and his wife. The towering Pennsylvania senator often shouts “Alabama!” at Britt in the hallways.

Welch has mixed thoughts about Britt giving the GOP response. “One, I feel very good for her, and I think she’ll do a great job,” Welch added. “I'm disappointed that the Republicans made such a smart decision.”

Britt has stated that senior women senators of either party are her role models. She texted Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman Patty Murray, a Democrat, in the hours after California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's death, asking if she could sit with the other women senators on the Senate floor that morning to honor Feinstein. She texted that Feinstein, like Murray, had paved the way for her, which Murray later said brought her to tears.

Top Republican on the Appropriations subcommittee, Maine Sen. Susan Collins, is pleased to have Britt represent the party. “She is a refreshing breath of fresh air and brings energy and a different perspective to our caucus, which I think is really important,” Collins said.

She's an all-star and Republicans know it, says Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat who leads the Appropriations Committee's homeland security subcommittee alongside Britt. Murphy, who has negotiated several problems bipartisanly, hopes Britt is “going to end up being one of the people that ends up trying to help make the Senate a place that works.”

Britt has bipartisan contacts like her former employer, Sen. Richard Shelby, the leading Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Bipartisanship rarely shows in her voting record. She voted against the homeland security spending plan she helped craft in committee because it didn't stop southern U.S. border migration.

She has been a conservative voice in her own state, denouncing Biden and bemoaning a country she no longer recognizes. December saw her endorse Trump for president. Her Thursday response should continue that theme.

“The Republican Party is the party of hardworking parents and families, and I’m looking forward to putting this critical perspective front and center,” she announced. “President Biden’s failed presidency has made America weaker and more vulnerable at every turn.”