Rep. Spencer Bachus made the allegation Thursday after speaking at a breakfast for local government officials at the Trussville (Ala.) Civic Center, the Birmingham News reported.
"Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists," Bachus said.
When he was asked to clarify the statement, Bachus said 17 members of the House are socialists.
The report did not say whether Bachus was asked to name the members he said are socialists.
He said he had "some hope" for President Barack Obama.
"He's a better listener than George W. Bush," Bachus said. "He tries to get ideas from people."