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Resolution denouncing 'horrors and failures of socialism' passes despite no votes from 86 Democrats

New York Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez was among the Democrats who voted against the resolution, calling it a "distraction"

Published: February 2, 2023 11:00am

Updated: February 2, 2023 2:26pm

The Republican-led House passed a resolution on Thursday that denounces the "horrors and failures of socialism."

The final vote was bipartisan with 328 members voting in favor of the resolution and 86 Democrats opposing it. There were 14 Democrats who voted present. 

Socialism "fails wherever it has been tried, and we don’t want it" in the United States," 

Florida Republican Rep. Maria Salazar said when announcing the reintroduction of the resolution.

According to the text of the resolution, socialism has "repeatedly led to famine and mass murders," killing of over 100 million people worldwide.

Salazar, the assistant House Republican whip, said the dangers of socialism hit home in her South Florida district in which many refugees from communist Cuba and their descendants reside.

"The district I represent is one that knows the failures of socialism all too well," she said. "My constituents understand firsthand the consequences socialist ideology brought to our continent: misery, oppression, and exile."

New York Democratic Rep. Nydia Velazquez spoke out against the resolution on the House floor.

She tweeted a video of her speech on Thursday and the message: "GOP logic: Public Housing = Socialism; Social Security and Medicare = Socialism; Infrastructure = Socialism. Republicans always have and always will brand programs to help working families as socialism. That's why I'm voting no on this distraction of a resolution."

Progressive Democratic members of the so-called Squad, including Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, voted against the measure. Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, voted in favor of the resolution. 

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, who reintroduced the resolution with Salazar, said socialist and communist policies have brought about totalitarian states that deprive citizens of "basic freedoms and human rights."

He also said Americans understand the dangers of the regimes in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other countries.

"Hundreds of thousands of Russians, Chinese, Cambodians, Koreans, Cubans, and Venezuelans have fled from murderous communist dictatorships and have legally resettled here in America," the Louisiana Republican said. "They are a living testament to the barbarity of these socialist regimes and the promise of the American dream."

Salazar's office has said that passage of the her resolution would make a "bold statement that the People's House unequivocally denounces this cruel and unjust ideology" and ensure the U.S. government "commits to never begin or normalize the implementation of socialist policies that inevitably lead to economic ruin and political authoritarianism."

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