Support for Official English Heats up in U.S. House
Echoing the strong call for official language from around the nation, more than one-fifth of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives are now co-sponsors of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2007. Introduced by Rep. Steve King in February, this legislation would make English the official language of the United States.
“It is encouraging to see that members of Congress are listening to the call of their constituents by supporting official English legislation,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc. “Americans are concerned with the message immigrants are receiving through government sponsored multilingualism. Legislators at the state and local level are working to craft common language policies, and it is only fitting that Congress do the same at the federal level.”
To date, there are 89 sponsors of H.R. 997 in the 110th Congress, more than half the number that co-sponsored similar legislation (also H.R. 997) in the 109th Congress. During 2006, official English legislation became one of the most widely supported bills in the House of Representatives and was considered in the Senate, where it passed by a margin of 62-35. Recent polls of U.S. voters have found that more than 80 percent of Americans support such legislation.
The English Language Unity Act of 2007 would require the United States government to conduct official business in English. Specifically, H.R. 997 would limit routine government operations to English, while giving government agencies common sense flexibility to protect public health and safety, national security, and to provide for the needs of commerce and criminal justice systems.
“I want to thank all of those members who have joined with Rep. King in supporting H.R. 997,” continued Mujica. “I look forward to working with them to garner additional support for making English the official language, and ultimately, pass it into law.”
U.S. English, Inc. is the nation’s oldest and largest non-partisan citizens’ action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. can be found on the web at: www.usenglish.org