… will be delivered by a little-known Congressman, Paul Ryan, who also happens to be a practicing Catholic; his Wikipedia entry notes that he is “a member of St. John Vianney’s Parish” in Janesville, Wisconsin.
More on the man who will deliver the GOP response to the State of the Union, from the Wall Street Journal:
In Washington, Mr. Ryan’s speech will be closely watched not only because of his central role in the fight over federal spending. He also is seen as having higher political ambitions: Mr. Ryan is considered a possible candidate for the Senate in 2012 if Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl doesn’t run for re-election.
For now, Mr. Ryan’s platform is the hearing room of the House Budget Committee, from which he will broadcast his remarks Tuesday night. Republicans picked the venue to help draw a sharp contrast with Mr. Obama, who is expected to argue both for deficit reduction and for new government spending in areas such as education and infrastructure that he considers “investments” in economic growth.
In the past year, Mr. Ryan has gone toe-to-toe with Mr. Obama in high-profile venues. When the president a year ago addressed a conference of House Republicans in Baltimore, he called attention to Mr. Ryan’s “roadmap” and jousted with him over the plan’s details and implications. A month later, at a televised bipartisan summit on Mr. Obama’s health-care legislation, Mr. Ryan delivered a stinging critique of the bill to the president’s face.
At a time when his party has been swept to power in the House by anti-Washington feelings and the tea party, Mr. Ryan is an intellectual who has spent scant time working outside the Washington Beltway. He supported the Wall Street bailout that was a big spark behind the tea-party rebellion…
…Born in Janesville, Wis., Mr. Ryan went straight to Capitol Hill after college to work on the staff of his home-state senator, Republican Bob Kasten. After Mr. Kasten lost his re-election bid in 1992, Mr. Ryan went to work at Empower America, a Washington think tank, where he wrote speeches for Mr. Kemp and conservative thinker Bill Bennett.
He worked as a marketing consultant for his family earth-moving business for a couple of years, then returned to Capitol Hill to work for conservative Sam Brownback, who at the time was in the House.
Mr. Ryan, who won an open seat in Congress in 1998, lives in his hometown with his wife, Janna, and three young children. When asked about speculation that he may run for president, Mr. Ryan has been known to respond: “My head isn’t big enough, and my kids are too small.”
Read more about him here.