TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida Senate committee approved a resolution denouncing democratic socialism Wednesday, a move Democrats see as a political maneuver to attack liberal policies.
The non-binding resolution denounces democratic socialism "in favor of the true American values of individual liberty and democracy."
The Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee approved it on a 4-2 party line vote.
"This is not meant to offend anybody, but it’s simply stating what we already know, that we support our American ideals, our system of capitalism and the freedom of people to improve their lives without the government engineering society or our economy," said Republican Sen. Manny Diaz, the resolution’s sponsor.
But the two Democrats on the committee saw the resolution as politically motivated.
"This bill attempts to denounce progressive policies like Social Security, Medicare, public education, public transportation and unemployment insurance benefits," said Sen. Victor Torres. "We can be proud patriots, defenders of liberty and democracy and still support progressive policies that help millions of working families."
Republicans have repeatedly labeled Democratic candidates as socialists in recent campaigns. Some believe the strategy was effective in defeating two Democratic congresswomen representing South Florida, where the large Cuban American vote rejects socialism and communism.
The legislative staff analysis of the resolution acknowledges "there are no official definitions of ‘democratic socialism.’"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.