Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) erupted Tuesday on the House floor, imploring his Republican colleagues to stop their obsession with stoking culture wars and shift focus to helping Democrats pass legislation to aid Americans struggling through the coronavirus pandemic.
“Stop talking about Dr. Seuss and start working with us on behalf of the American workers!” he shouted, referring to conservative outrage after the Dr. Seuss Foundation pulled six of its books that it deemed outdated and racially insensitive.
Republicans, Fox News and right-wing pundits have dedicated considerable time to beefing about it, blaming Democrats, “cancel culture” and the left for the foundation’s decision to remove its own products. Last week, in an apparent protest, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) made a five-minute video of himself reading “Green Eggs and Ham,” which was not one of the books removed.
The House moved Tuesday to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, legislation that would strengthen the rights of workers’ unions. It’s expected to pass in the Democratic-led House but faces a likely defeat in the Senate.
Ryan exploded at Republicans for opposing the measure, asking when they might do something to actually help workers.
“Heaven forbid we pass something that’s going to help the damn workers in the United States of America!” he yelled.
“Heaven forbid we tilt the balance that has been going in the wrong direction for 50 years. We talk about pensions, you complain. We talk about the minimum wage increase, you complain. We talk about giving them the right to organize, you complain. But if we were passing a tax cut here, you’d be getting in line to vote yes for it.”