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GOP lawmaker can only name 1 of 17 socialists he said were in Congress
Greg Fulton
Published: Tuesday April 14, 2009


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An Alabama Republican lawmaker who declared last week that a gang of socialists are stalking the halls of Congress is apparently taking the Fifth.

Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL) told a gathering in Trussville, Ala. on Apr. 9 that there were 17 socialists in Congress. "Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists," said Bachus, the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee.

But pressed to name the 17, he's only been able to come up with one. And that senator, self-professed "Democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders (D-VT) wants to know the rest.

Sanders joined the chorus of reporters and lawmakers Tuesday pushing Bachus to make good on his claim that 17 socialists reside in Congress.

"Has Spencer released his list yet?" Sanders asked Politico. "Everybody's waiting with bated breath."

I think at the very least he has to tell people what his definition of socialism is," he added. "And I think he should tell us who he was referring to, whos on the list.

Bachus has so far has decided to keep "the list" a secret, which he first referred to in his hometown newspaper. The same day, Bachus had praised President Barack Obama. "He's a better listener than George W. Bush," Bachus said. "He tries to get ideas from people."

Now Bachus finds that others are listening to him. His office has made no official comment on his charge and hasn't responded to repeated requests for comment.

So far, groups like the Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Party USA and the Socialist Party Republicans have made little of Bachus' comments.

Bachus' comments remind some of those made by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the freshman representative, who during her 2008 campaign called for an investigation of Congress "to find out if they are pro-American or anti-American," during comments made on Hardball.


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