Katie Britt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Katie Britt
Official portrait, 2022
United States Senator
from Alabama
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
Serving with Tommy Tuberville
Preceded byRichard Shelby
Personal details
Born
Katie Elizabeth Boyd

(1982-02-02) February 2, 1982 (age 42)
Enterprise, Alabama, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
(m. 2008)
Children2
EducationUniversity of Alabama (BS, JD)
WebsiteSenate website

Katie Elizabeth Britt (née Boyd; born February 2, 1982) is an American politician, businesswoman, and attorney who is the junior United States senator from Alabama since 2023. A member of the Republican Party, Britt is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama and the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate.[1] She was president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama from 2019 to 2021, and was chief of staff for her Senate predecessor, Richard Shelby, from 2016 to 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Britt was born as Katie Elizabeth Boyd[2] to Julian and Debra Boyd on February 2, 1982,[3][4] in the city of Enterprise.[5] She was raised outside Fort Rucker in Dale County, Alabama, and worked at her family's small business throughout her youth.[6] In her youth, she was an attendee of the Girls State leadership program, and was elected to a governor position at the conference in 1999.[7] A graduate of Enterprise High School, Britt was a cheerleader there and one of 19 valedictorians upon graduation in 2000.[2] She enrolled at the University of Alabama, where she majored in political science and was elected president of its Student Government Association.[8] She graduated in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 2013, she received a Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law.[9][10]

Law and business career[edit]

After she graduated from the University of Alabama,[11] Britt joined the staff of U.S. Senator Richard Shelby in May 2004 as deputy press secretary. She was later promoted to press secretary.[12] In 2007, she left Shelby's staff and worked as a special assistant to University of Alabama president Robert Witt. At the University of Alabama School of Law, she participated in Tax Moot Court.[13]

After law school, Britt first worked at Johnston Barton Proctor & Rose LLP in Birmingham.[13] When the firm shut down in March 2014, Britt and 17 other former employees joined the Birmingham office of Butler Snow LLP.[14] She founded the firm's government affairs branch. In November 2015, Britt took a leave of absence from Butler Snow to return to Shelby's staff, working on his reelection campaign as deputy campaign manager and communications director.[15][16]

In 2016, Shelby named Britt his chief of staff.[16] She became a top advisor to Shelby and head of his Judicial Nomination Task Force.[10] In May 2016, Yellowhammer News named Britt one of "the people who will be running Alabama in a few years".[17]

In December 2018, Britt was selected as president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, effective January 2;[18] she was the first woman to lead the organization.[19] As head of what Alabama Daily News called one of the state's "most influential political organizations", she focused on workforce and economic development through tax incentives, and addressed the state's prison system and participation in the 2020 United States census.[20] During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Britt led a "Keep Alabama Open" effort to self-govern business affairs by avoiding shutdowns and maintain employment.[21] In April 2021, she was elected to the Alabama Wildlife Federation's board of directors.[22] Britt resigned from her positions at the Business Council of Alabama in June 2021, amid media speculation that she would run for the U.S. Senate.[23][24][25]

U.S. Senate[edit]

Britt and her family at her inauguration with Vice President Kamala Harris, 2023

Elections[edit]

2022[edit]

On June 8, 2021, Britt announced her candidacy in the Republican primary for the 2022 Senate election in Alabama.[26][27] Britt, who had never previously run for public office, started out the race polling at 2%, but gradually climbed in the polls as the race went on.[28]

As a Senate candidate, Britt publicly aligned herself with former President Donald Trump.[29] Although Britt gave credence to Trump's false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election, she has never outright claimed the election was "stolen".[30] She advanced to a runoff in the Republican primary against Representative Mo Brooks. Trump officially endorsed Britt on June 10, 2022, calling her a "fearless America First warrior". He had previously withdrawn an endorsement of Brooks.[31] Britt defeated Brooks in the runoff on June 21, 2022, with 63% of the vote. She then handily won the general election on November 8.[7][32]

After winning the election, Britt became the first woman elected a U.S. senator from Alabama (previous female U.S. senators from Alabama had been appointed to the position).[33] She was also the youngest Republican woman elected U.S. senator and the second-youngest woman overall (Democrat Blanche Lincoln being the youngest).[34]

Tenure[edit]

Britt took office on January 3, 2023. Following leadership elections for the 118th United States Congress, she did not say whether she supported Mitch McConnell or Rick Scott for Senate Minority Leader.[35] Before taking office, Britt was selected as the only incoming senator to serve on the newly formed Republican Party Advisory Council of the Republican National Committee.[36]

Britt's first vote in the U.S. Senate was opposing a Biden administration nominee to a Department of Defense position.[37] During her first month in office, she co-sponsored eight bills and visited the Mexico–United States border twice.[38] She continued these visits to the border while co-sponsoring bills to curtail illegal immigration, as well as funding for a border wall.[39]

In February 2023, CoinDesk reported that Britt was one of three members of Alabama's congressional delegation who received money from FTX, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange, alongside Robert Aderholt and Gary Palmer. Britt's office responded to an inquiry from CoinDesk by stating that the money had been donated back.[40] As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Britt joined 22 other senators in March 2023 in calling for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget each year, while also criticizing the Biden administration's budgetary plans.[41]

The same month, Britt advocated for Huntsville, Alabama, to remain as primary location of the United States Space Command. The Biden administration had previously indicated it was considering relocating it to Colorado, even though a U.S. Air Force study found Colorado to be the fifth-best location. Britt charged that the Biden administration was "politicizing" the decision, saying that "selecting a fifth-place finisher would obviously prioritize partisan political considerations at the expense of our national security, military modernization and force readiness".[42]

In March 2023, after Mexican law enforcement occupied a port in Quintana Roo, Mexico, owned by the Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials Company, Britt joined other members of Alabama's congressional delegation in negotiating the forces' withdrawal.[43] Britt called the takeover unlawful[44] and met with Mexican officials at the Washington, D.C. embassy, condemning the actions taken at the port.[43] The Mexican personnel withdrew from the port by the end of the month.[45]

During the 2023 United States debt-ceiling crisis, Britt voted against the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023. In a statement issued after the vote, Britt said, "we must do more", having wanted more spending cuts than were in the bill.[46]

Committee assignments[47]

Caucuses

Political positions[edit]

Britt with radio host Joey Clark in 2021

Britt holds conservative views.[48][49]

Abortion[edit]

Britt identifies herself as pro-life, a stance that was scrutinized during the 2022 U.S. Senate election. Her initial television advertisements emphasized her view on abortion, asserting that life begins at conception and equating late-term abortions to murder. But in May 2022, just before the first round of the Republican primary, rival candidate Michael Durant criticized Britt's abortion stance. He pointed out a resolution passed by the Student Senate while she was president of the University of Alabama Student Government Association that demanded that morning-after pills be made available at the university health center's pharmacy, which was already prescribing the pills at the time. In response, Britt's campaign claimed she neither supported nor voted on the resolution and was unable to veto it due to the limitations of her position. The Alabama Political Reporter corroborated these statements based on The Crimson White articles from the time of Britt's presidency. Furthermore, Britt's campaign insisted she would "uphold the sanctity of life" if elected senator.[50]

Education[edit]

In July 2021, Britt supported a motion from Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools.[51] She has been called a "vocal proponent" of school choice by Yellowhammer News.[52]

Foreign policy[edit]

Britt is a critic of the Chinese Communist Party. In August 2022, she charged the Biden administration with inaction and "total weakness" in regard to China, highlighting humanitarian crises in China, as well as its dominance in manufacturing, saying that China was "taking jobs".[53] In September 2022, she accused the social media platform TikTok of being a "Trojan horse" for the Chinese Communist Party; other American lawmakers have expressed similar concern about TikTok as a potential security threat.[54] In October 2022, Britt pledged to co-sponsor a bill introduced by Senators Tommy Tuberville and Tom Cotton to keep Chinese-owned companies from purchasing American farmland.[55]

Gun rights[edit]

Following the passing of the Protecting Our Kids Act in June 2022, Britt told 1819 News that she believes red flag laws are a "gateway to push [a] disarming agenda". She opposes gun laws that she says infringe on the Second Amendment.[56] She has called the Second Amendment "a critical check against the timeless tyranny of government".[57]

Healthcare[edit]

In August 2021, Britt wrote a column calling for an open discussion and prioritization of mental health. Her column also expressed her wish to combat the opioid epidemic and suicide rates in the United States.[58] In May 2022, Britt called "affordable access to quality mental health care and resources" a "major component" of her Senate campaign's platform. She supports efforts to eliminate the stigmatization of mental illness.[59]

Immigration[edit]

Britt supports reducing legal immigration "to a sensible level" and prioritizing skills and merit over family associations. She has said she will introduce legislation to prevent birthright citizenship from applying to children whose parents entered the country illegally. She also supports and has pledged to sponsor the RAISE Act, first introduced by Senator Tom Cotton in 2017.[60]

Technology[edit]

Following her election to the U.S. Senate, Britt named expansion of broadband access as one of her areas of focus.[28] After the release of the Twitter Files in December 2022, Britt joined Alabama representatives Jerry Carl and Barry Moore in calling for reform to Section 230, specifically criticizing Big Tech and saying that she was looking forward to congressional hearings "getting to the bottom of what occurred at Twitter in 2020".[61]

Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023[edit]

Britt was among the 31 Senate Republicans who voted against final passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023.[62]

Personal life[edit]

Katie Britt is married to Wesley Britt, a former NFL player. They met while attending the University of Alabama,[63] and married on March 8, 2008.[64] They reside in Montgomery, Alabama, and have two children.[65] The Britts attend First United Methodist Church in Montgomery.[66]

Electoral history[edit]

2022 United States Senate election in Alabama, Republican primary results[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Katie Britt 289,425 44.8
Republican Mo Brooks 188,539 29.2
Republican Michael Durant 150,817 23.3
Republican Jake Schafer 7,371 1.1
Republican Karla DuPriest 5,739 0.9
Republican Lillie Boddie 4,849 0.7
Total votes 646,740 100.0
2022 United States Senate election in Alabama, Republican primary runoff results[68]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Katie Britt 253,251 63.0
Republican Mo Brooks 148,636 37.0
Total votes 401,887 100.0
2022 United States Senate election in Alabama, general election results[69]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Katie Britt 940,048 66.64 +2.68
Democratic Will Boyd 435,428 30.87 -5.00
Libertarian John Sophocleus 32,790 2.32 N/A
Write-in 2,454 0.17 +0.00
Total votes 1,410,720 100.00

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cason, Mike (November 9, 2022). "Katie Britt wins: Makes history, becomes Alabama's 1st woman elected to U.S. Senate". al. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Kirkland, Kay (May 17, 2000). "ENTERPRISE HIGH SCHOOL VALEDICTORIANS SHARE DESIRE FOR SUCCESS". The Southeast Sun. Archived from the original on November 8, 2022. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  3. ^ Quin Hillyer (June 30, 2021). "Katie Britt is a bright new face in Alabama Senate race". Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  4. ^ @KatieBrittforAL (February 2, 2022). "It's @KatieBoydBritt's birthday today! 🎉🎊🎂 Wish her a happy 40th below ⬇️ #alsen #alpolitics" (Tweet). Retrieved May 10, 2022 – via Twitter.
  5. ^ Brand, Carole. "ENTERPRISE CLAIMS PROUD DAUGHTERKatie Boyd wins first runner-up in America's Junior Miss". The Southeast Sun. Retrieved March 23, 2022.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Johnson, Lauren (March 2022). "'We need new blood': U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Katie Britt speaks in Opelika". OANow.com. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  7. ^ a b Swetlik, Sara (November 9, 2022). "Who is Katie Britt, Alabama's newest senator? What are her plans in Congress?". AL.com. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  8. ^ Whites-Koditschek, Sarah (May 9, 2022). "Election 2022: Katie Britt on 'Christian conservative principles' and U.S. Senate race". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  9. ^ Cason, Mike (June 13, 2021). "Katie Britt says close call with Tuscaloosa tornado taught her that every day is gift". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  10. ^ a b Steve Flowers (February 26, 2019). "Alabama leads the way with female government leadership: Kay Ivey, Katie Britt, and Twinkle Cavanaugh". The Trussville Tribune. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  11. ^ Oganovich, Nancy (July 21, 2021). "Former Alabama Senate Staffer Gives Mo Brooks Run for His Money". Bloomberg Government. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  12. ^ Patton, Elizabeth (December 7, 2018). "Personnel note: Katie Britt leaves Richard Shelby's office to lead Business Council of Alabama". Alabama Today. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  13. ^ a b Moseley, Brandon (December 7, 2018). "Shelby's Chief of Staff Katie Britt chosen to lead Business Council of Alabama". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  14. ^ Faulk, Kent (March 5, 2014). "Turn out the lights: Birmingham's Johnston Barton Proctor and Rose law firm shutting down". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  15. ^ Brown Hollis, Erin (April 18, 2019). "Katie Boyd Britt is a 2019 Woman of Impact". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  16. ^ a b Lyman, Brian (July 25, 2021). "Katie Boyd Britt wants to solve the state's problems, but is that what Alabama wants?". The Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  17. ^ Cliff Sims (May 3, 2016). "Who's Next? Meet the people who will be running Alabama in a few years". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  18. ^ "Business group taps new leader". The Tuscaloosa News. December 7, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  19. ^ "Katie Britt chosen as first woman to lead BCA". AL.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  20. ^ Stacy, Todd (December 19, 2019). "BCA's Katie Britt talks priorities and pitfalls for 2020". Alabama Daily News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  21. ^ Ross, Sean (November 17, 2020). "BCA's Katie Boyd Britt spearheading 'Keep Alabama Open' campaign as other states shut down". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  22. ^ "BCA's Katie Boyd Britt elected to Alabama Wildlife Federation Board of Directors". Alabama Political Reporter. April 27, 2021. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  23. ^ "Katie Boyd Britt, possible U.S. Senate candidate, resigns as president of BCA". AL.com. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  24. ^ "Business president resigns, could seek US Senate seat". Associated Press. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  25. ^ "Katie Boyd Britt Resigns as President & CEO of the Business Council of Alabama, Is U.S. Senate Bid Next?". Alabama News. June 1, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  26. ^ Walker, Charlie (June 8, 2021). "Katie Britt announces U.S. Senate candidacy". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  27. ^ "Katie Britt officially announces she's running for Alabama Senate seat". AL.com. June 8, 2021. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  28. ^ a b Swetlik, Sara (December 7, 2022). "Katie Britt, the 'girl from the Wiregrass,' on being first Alabama woman elected to US Senate". AL.com. Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  29. ^ Orr, Gabby; Zanona, Melanie (February 25, 2022). "Trump may offer help to Katie Britt in Alabama Senate primary -- even though he's already endorsed Mo Brooks". CNN. Retrieved March 23, 2022.
  30. ^ "Katie Britt sees 'fraud' in Trump's election loss, vows to work for Alabama if elected to Senate". AL.com. March 23, 2022. Retrieved March 24, 2022.
  31. ^ Koplowitz, Howard (June 10, 2022). "Donald Trump endorses 'fearless America First warrior' Katie Britt in Alabama Senate race". AL.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2022. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  32. ^ "U.S. Senate: When a New Congress Begins". U.S. Senate. June 24, 2022. Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  33. ^ Whites-Koditschek, Sarah (June 21, 2022). "Katie Britt wins runoff, stands to become first woman elected senator in Alabama". AL.com. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  34. ^ Smith, Dylan (November 8, 2022). "'Mama on a mission': Katie Britt elected Alabama's next U.S. senator". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  35. ^ Blakely, Will (November 16, 2022). "McConnell wins Senate Minority Leader re-election; Britt noncommittal on support". 1819 News. Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  36. ^ Monger, Craig (November 29, 2022). "Katie Britt tapped to serve on new Republican Advisory Council". Retrieved December 8, 2022.
  37. ^ Taylor, Daniel (January 23, 2023). "Katie Britt casts first vote as a U.S. Senator against Biden nominee for DoD post". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  38. ^ Shipley, Austin (February 10, 2023). "Britt 'hits the ground running' in first month". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  39. ^ Gattis, Paul (March 2, 2023). "Sen. Katie Britt making 3rd border visit in less than 2 months in office". AL.com. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  40. ^ Taylor, Daniel (February 6, 2023). "Aderholt, Britt, Palmer among 196 U.S. Congress members who received funds from FTX". 1819 News. Retrieved February 6, 2023.
  41. ^ Thomas, Erica (March 15, 2023). "U.S. Sen. Britt blasts Biden's 'unserious budget,' joins forces to require balanced budget every year". 1819 News.
  42. ^ Taylor, Daniel (March 24, 2023). "'The best place for Space Command is in Huntsville' — Battle, Britt, Tuberville push back against Biden's efforts to reverse decision on U.S. Space Command location". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  43. ^ a b Monger, Craig (March 28, 2023). "Alabama's congressional delegation meets with Mexican officials; Vulcan port no longer under control of Mexican military or police". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  44. ^ Taylor, Daniel (March 20, 2023). "Britt decries 'unlawful' seizure of Birmingham-based Vulcan Materials' facility in Mexico — 'Mexico should be more focused on going after the cartels than law-abiding businesses'". 1819 News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  45. ^ Stacy, Todd (March 28, 2023). "Mexican authorities withdraw from Vulcan facility". Alabama Daily News. Retrieved April 2, 2023.
  46. ^ Taylor, Daniel (June 2, 2023). "Tuberville, Britt vote 'no' as U.S. Senate passes debt ceiling bill". 1819 News. Retrieved June 2, 2023.
  47. ^ Committee Assignments
  48. ^ Whites-Koditschek, Sarah (June 6, 2022). "Experts: Katie Britt in 'driver's seat' in Alabama runoff against Mo Brooks". Dothan Eagle. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  49. ^ "CNN Projection: Republican Katie Britt will win Alabama's Senate race". CNN. November 8, 2022. Retrieved November 12, 2022.
  50. ^ Burkhalter, Eddie (May 16, 2022). "Fact check: Katie Britt's campaign calls foul on ad claiming she's pro-abortion". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  51. ^ Moseley, Brandon (July 15, 2021). "Katie Britt supports Ivey's position on banning Critical Race Theory in public schools". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  52. ^ Smith, Dylan (December 6, 2021). "Katie Britt: Alabama Association of School Boards 'made correct decision' withdrawing from National School Boards Association". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  53. ^ Yaffee (August 1, 2022). "Katie Britt accuses Biden of showing 'total weakness' with China". Yellowhammer News. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  54. ^ Griesbach, Rebecca (September 26, 2022). "Katie Britt: TikTok 'a Trojan horse that steals data to give to the Chinese'". AL.com. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  55. ^ Poor, Jeff (October 13, 2022). "Katie Britt vows to support ban on China's buying U.S. farmland – 'Food security is national security'". 1819 News. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  56. ^ Moseley, Brandon (June 10, 2022). "Britt says red flag laws are a gateway to push a disarming agenda". 1819 News. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  57. ^ Cann, Beth (April 19, 2022). "Katie Britt releases new campaign ad showing Second Amendment support". Alabama Today. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  58. ^ Britt, Katie (August 6, 2021). "Opinion | Katie Britt: It's long past time we talk about mental health". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  59. ^ Sharp, John (May 27, 2022). "Mo Brooks blames Texas school shooting on 'out-of-wedlock childbirth'; Katie Britt says stop 'stigmatizing' mental illness". AL.com. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  60. ^ Holmes, Jacob (March 30, 2022). "Katie Britt releases memo outlining planned immigration policies". Alabama Political Reporter. Retrieved June 11, 2022.
  61. ^ Taylor, Daniel (December 6, 2022). "Katie Britt, Jerry Carl, Barry Moore call for 'much-needed' social media reform following 'Twitter Files' release — 'Concerns of collusion between Biden and Big Tech were justified'". 1819 News. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  62. ^ Folley, Aris (June 1, 2023). "Here are the senators who voted against the bill to raise the debt ceiling". The Hill. Retrieved June 17, 2023.
  63. ^ Cason, Mike (November 8, 2022). "Katie Britt wins: Makes history, becomes Alabama's first woman elected to U.S. Senate". AL.com. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  64. ^ "I can't believe today marks 14 years of being married to my best friend!". March 8, 2022. Retrieved March 18, 2023 – via Twitter.
  65. ^ "Britt Puts Another Crack in the Glass Ceiling as Chief of Staff – Community Affairs | The University of Alabama". University of Alabama. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  66. ^ Howe, Tim (June 8, 2021). "Britt is in — 'I will put Alabama First and never apologize for it'". Yellowhammer. Retrieved January 14, 2023.
  67. ^ "AL Republican Party 2022 Primary Results Official". sos.alabama.gov. Alabama Secretary of State. June 1, 2022. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  68. ^ "AL Republican Party 2022 Runoff Results Official". sos.alabama.gov. Alabama Secretary of State. June 23, 2022. Retrieved June 24, 2022.
  69. ^ "State of Alabama - Canvass of Results General Election November 8, 2022" (PDF). sos.alabama.gov. Alabama Secretary of State. November 28, 2022. Retrieved December 9, 2022.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Alabama
(Class 3)

2022
Most recent
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Alabama
2023–present
Served alongside: Tommy Tuberville
Most recent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas United States Senator from Ohio Order of precedence of the United States
as United States Senator from Alabama

since January 3, 2023
Succeeded byas United States Senator from Missouri
Preceded by United States senators by seniority
98th
Pete Ricketts