Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus said he believes there are 17 socialists actively serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists,” the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee said at a breakfast gathering in Birmingham this week.
Bachus dropped the bombshell before a gathering of municipal and county leaders gathered to hear the Congressman’s views on guns, the federal budget, and creeping socialism.
He also said he has “some hope” for President Barack Obama, according to a report in the Birmingham News.
“He’s a better listener than George W. Bush,” Bachus said. “He tries to get ideas from people.”
However, the lawmaker qualified, he was distressed that Obama may be steered too far by the Congress.
Politico was quick to comment on the Bachus rhetoric, noting that a search of their in-house style book and the official U.S. House listings provided no category for socialists – “just a lot of Ds and Rs next to lawmaker names.”
Asked to clarify his comments after the speech, Bachus repeated to the Birmingham News that there were 17 socialists in the House, but named only U.S. senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as definitively socialist.
Sanders' spokesman Will Wiquist told the paper that Sanders is an independent who identifies with the Democratic Socialist Party .
"It's a different brand of socialism than the congressman is probably thinking of," Wiquist said.
Wiquist said there are no other socialists in Congress. Bachus did not define socialist but said the members themselves are open about their affiliation.
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