Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat from Ohio, chastised GOP colleagues for harping on about Dr. Seuss while the House attempted to move forward the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, a bill intended to significantly aid workers' rights to organize.
The bill, which would penalize employers who violate federal law and retaliate against unionizing workers, was being discussed the day before the House passed the unprecedented $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
"In the late '70s, a CEO made 35 times the worker. Today it's 300 to 400 times the worker," Ryan said. "Heaven forbid we pass something that's going to help the damn workers in the United States of America," Ryan said, waving his arms.
"We talked about pensions, you complained, we talked about the minimum wage increase, you complained, we talked about the right to organize, you complained!" Ryan said, adding that the GOP rallied around Trump's tax bill.
—The Recount (@therecount) March 9, 2021
"Now stop talking about Dr. Seuss, and start working with us on behalf of the American workers," Ryan said.
In early March, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that it would stop publishing six books in its catalog due to racially insensitive caricatures. Those six books, which will no longer be distributed to stores, are "McElligot's Pool," "On Beyond Zebra!," "Scrambled Eggs Super!," "The Cat's Quizzer," "And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street" and "If I Ran the Zoo."
That decision quickly became the rallying cry in the GOP's hand wringing over"cancel culture," which even included House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy recording himself reading "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss last week.
—Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 6, 2021
"I still like Dr. Seuss, so I decided to read 'Green Eggs and Ham,'" McCarthy tweeted. "RT if you still like him too!"
A Morning Consult poll showed that 48% of GOP voters had heard "a lot" about the Dr. Seuss decision, and 44% of GOP voters had heard "a lot" about the COVID-19 relief bill.
Ryan's bill in support of labor rights would tackle how employees vs. independent contractors are defined, applying to workers who are looking to join a union or organize.
The bill also has a provision that prevents employers from permanently replacing workers who strike and enables workers to launch private lawsuits against employers if they violate the National Labor Relations Act.
The PRO Act passed in the House, with five Republicans supporting the bill and Rep. Henry Cuellar the sole Democrat breaking ranks to vote against it. The bill heads to a divided Senate with President Joe Biden's support. The bill will likely face a filibuster.