WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn issued the following statement today in response to the State of the Union address:

“Tonight’s address demonstrated that our President is out of touch and out of time.

“America is not experiencing a ‘great comeback.’ America has always been great. Our challenge is ensuring our country’s greatness is accessible and affordable for all.

“This President has betrayed the trust of working families and farmers. He has pursued policies that benefit the wealthy elite and incited trade wars that hurt people who make America truly great.

“A vital source of American greatness has always been the contributions of immigrants. Instead of continuing this tradition, this President has chosen to enact cruel and self-defeating immigration policies, snatching children from their parents and caging them at the border, and banning immigrants from Muslim and African nations.

“America’s economy is great because President Obama worked with this Congress to bring our nation back from the brink of economic depression. Yet Republicans have increased the deficit to historic levels and maintain their threat to cut America’s greatest safety nets, Medicare and Social Security, to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations.

“America needs effective leadership that doesn’t keep looking backward but moves our country forward. House Democrats have passed legislation that will make our country’s greatness accessible and affordable to all.  We encourage the Senate and the President to join us in this effort.”