A top Senate Republican said Saturday that President Obama “has a lot of explaining to do” in his State of the Union speech about the weak economy and persistently high unemployment.

Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, noted that Mr. Obama intends to speak to the nation Tuesday night about income inequality and his plans for a “year of action.”

“Well, the president’s right about at least one thing — Americans are hurting,” Mr. Blunt said in the weekly GOP address. “Too many of the poorest Americans continue to suffer from stalled job creation, skyrocketing federal debt, burdensome regulations, and broken promises on health care reform. What President Obama fails to acknowledge is that Americans are hurting as a result of his own policies.”

The senator noted that more than 10 million people are unemployed nationwide, and another 2.4 million have stopped looking for work.