Kevin McCarthy Criticized for Making Dr. Seuss Video Amid Stimulus Bill Debate

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is facing criticism for posting a video of himself reading from a Dr. Seuss book as the Senate tries to pass a $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Approving the American Rescue Plan could prove difficult in the evenly divided Senate, where moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema are seen as potential obstacles to some proposals in the bill passed by the House of Representatives.

As talks continue, McCarthy—who joined every other House Republican in voting against the bill—shared a video on Twitter and Instagram on Friday showing him reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. The children's author has become a recent flashpoint in the debate about so-called "cancel culture."

"I still like Dr. Seuss, so I decided to read Green Eggs and Ham," McCarthy wrote. "RT if you still like him too!"

The video has been viewed more than 1.5 million times across Twitter and Instagram.

I still like Dr. Seuss, so I decided to read Green Eggs and Ham.

RT if you still like him too!

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 6, 2021

Two prominent Democrats on social media criticized McCarthy for the five-minute video, saying there were more important issues.

"Dems are focused on getting stimulus checks, unemployment benefits & small business loans to the American people," said Congressman Ted Lieu.

"@GOPLeader is focused on Green Eggs and Ham, a book that continues to be published and accepted by the free market," he said. "There is a difference between the two parties."

Lieu was referring to a decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises - the company that manages the late writer's estate - to cease publication of six lesser-known titles that contain racially insensitive depictions. Green Eggs and Ham is not one of the books affected.

"I read Green Eggs & Ham to my kids at least once a week- a classic," tweeted Jaime Harrison, chair of the Democratic National Committee. "But you voted against a bill that cuts child poverty in half, that would allow parents to keep food on the table & lights on in their homes! Put down the damn book & actually do something that will help folks!"

McCarthy, who represents California's 23rd congressional district, and his Republican House colleagues were joined by two Democrats in voting against the bill.

The American Rescue Plan proceeded to the Senate nonetheless.

Other Twitter users also weighed in. Princeton historian Kevin M. Kruse pointed out that Green Eggs and Ham wasn't one of the books deemed to have insensitive content.

"No one is upset about Green Eggs and Ham, you disingenuous dipsh*t," he wrote. "Here's one of the books the Seuss estate decided not to publish anymore. If you so desperately need to read about Asians 'with their eyes all a slant,' buy the rights and print copies yourself."

That description of Asian people appears in Dr. Seuss' If I Ran the Zoo. Kruse also shared a picture of the book, which shows stereotypical depictions of Asians. If I Ran the Zoo is one of the six books that will no longer be published.

"I honestly think this is the dumbest thing that's happened in my time covering politics," tweeted Chris Geidner, editorial director and senior legal analyst at The Appeal.

"Seuss Enterprises announced it is stopping publishing 6 books — not including Green Eggs and Ham — that it determined employ racial stereotypes. That's it! This is absurdist gaslighting," he said.

The conservative Lincoln Project, which campaigned against former President Donald Trump and Republicans who supported him, simply wrote: "Please let this be on @nbcsnl," referring to NBC's long-running Saturday Night Live.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) holds his weekly news conference at the U.S. Capitol June 13, 2019 in Washington, DC. McCarthy has been criticized for focusing on Dr. Seuss amid the stimulus debate. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images