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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The House Republicans’ campaign arm is offering donors copies of the Dr. Seuss classic “The Cat in the Hat," seeking to capitalize on a new front in the culture war.

Why it matters: The offer, while gimmicky, shows how potent appeals to “cancel culture” can be for grassroots Republicans, even amid debates about more weighty policy matters like coronavirus relief and voting rights.

What’s happening: The National Republican Congressional Committee is sending the books to donors who give $25 to GOP efforts to retake the House.

  • “We won’t be able to speak or think freely by the time the Dems are through. Chip in $25 now and we’ll send ‘Cat in the Hat' right to you,” the NRCC writes in the final verse of a Seussian passage on its online donation page.
  • The committee has sent three fundraising emails and hundreds of texts this week. It's seeking to capitalize on consternation over the decision by Seuss’ publisher to cease printing six books deemed racially or culturally insensitive.
  • "The Cat in the Hat" was not among them.

The big picture: The Seuss controversy is just the latest front in the cultural battles.

  • It touches upon published works some consider anachronistic and offensive toward marginalized communities.
  • Opposition to “cancel culture” has become a rallying cry for much of the political right, which has railed against social media companies for cracking down on content deemed culturally out of bounds.
  • "The Liberal mob wants to cancel the Fourth of July," the NRCC wrote in a fundraising email last year. "The Radical Left wants to cancel Christmas for good," declared another in late November.

The potency of this particular flashpoint was evident Thursday morning, when 11 of the top 12 best-selling books on Amazon were Dr. Seuss works.

Go deeper

Biden warned Putin of specific "consequences" if Russia invades Ukraine

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."

Senate leaders sell members on debt limit deal

Sen. Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are urging their respective caucuses to back a deal that would clear a path to raising the debt ceiling.

Driving the news: The agreement, negotiated by the two leaders and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), involves Congress passing a law allowing a one-time rule change so the Senate can raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, rather than the 60 typically needed to overcome the filibuster.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

CDC: 60% of U.S. is fully vaccinated

Photo: Nick Oxford/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sixty percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: This comes as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the U.S. It has been detected in 19 states, and the number is expected to increase, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Tuesday's White House COVID-19 briefing.