86 House Democrats vote against resolution condemning ‘horrors of socialism’

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Betty McCollum were among those who voted against the resolution.

Rep. María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., sponsored the resolution. (Twitter/Rep. María Elvira Salazar)

(The Daily Signal) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution condemning socialism on Thursday, with nearly all Republicans and half of the Democrats supporting it.

H. Con. Res. 9, a resolution “denouncing the horrors of socialism,” passed 328 to 86, with 14 Democrats voting present, and six members (three Republicans and three Democrats) not voting.

“This was a win for democracy,” Rep. María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., the daughter of Cuban exiles who represents Miami-Dade County and who sponsored the resolution, told The Daily Signal in a statement Thursday.

“As the representative of the city of Miami, and daughter of Cuban exiles, I say that this resolution hits close to home for us all,” she added. “We know that socialism only brings misery, oppression, and exile, wherever it is tried.”

The resolution states “that Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.”

It does not specifically define socialism, but describes “socialist ideology” as necessitating “a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorship.”

It defines the United States of America as founded on an opposite belief: “the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed.”

The resolution also attributes the deaths of “over 100,000,000 people worldwide” to socialism, including 10 million people sent to the gulags in the Soviet Union; between 15 million and 55 million starving in the wake of the famine caused by the Great Leap Forward in China; 1 million people dead in the killing fields of Cambodia; and up to 3.5 million people starving to death in North Korea. It also notes that socialism devastated the once-thriving economies of Cuba and Venezuela.

“Every socialist is a dictator in disguise,” Salazar said in remarks on the House floor before the vote. “Today, Cubans by the thousands, throw themselves to the sharks in the straits of Florida looking for freedom and hoping to get to the district that I represent on this floor.”

“It is a lie that socialism will solve your problems, economic or social,” she added. “We cannot let this evil ideology take hold in this country.”

Many prominent Democrats voted against the resolution, including Reps. Julian Castro and Al Green of Texas, Jerry Connolly of Virginia, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, Pramila Jayapal of Washington, Summer Lee of Pennsylvania, Jerry Nadler and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan.

Lee responded to a group of Democrats who condemned socialism by saying, “They’re going to call you socialists anyways.” Ocasio-Cortez retweeted her.


Tyler O'Neil

Tyler O'Neil is managing editor of The Daily Signal and the author of "Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center."