US English: Push for Official Language Policies Continues to Grow in Congress, States

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu Jan 31 16:12:37 UTC 2008

Push for Official Language Policies Continues to Grow in Congress, States
H.R. 997 Now Has Support of One-Third of House of Representatives

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With 144 co-sponsors of H.R. 997 in
addition to lead sponsor Steve King, support for official English has
now reached one-third of the U.S. House of Representatives for the
second straight Congressional session. The growing list of
co-sponsors, which represents both parties and nearly 40 states,
reflects a continued push for common language legislation at every
level of government. 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 the commerce and criminal justice

H.R. 997 is just one of many efforts to enact common sense language
policy as our nation works to assimilate millions of new immigrants.
In each of the past two years, the Senate has approved amendments
making English the "national language" of the United States and
reducing multilingual entitlements. Despite passage by margins of
62-35 (2006) and 63-34 (2007), the Senate has not passed the bills to
which these measures were attached. At the state level, 13 states have
pending measures related to official language policies during the
early stages of the 2008 session. Measures in Delaware, Michigan,
Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin would make English the
official language of those states, while bills pending in Georgia,
South Carolina and Virginia would strengthen existing law. The
Missouri legislature has already passed strengthening legislation that
will appear on the November general election ballot.

"National polls have shown that more than 80 percent of Americans
favor official English legislation," said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of
U.S. English, Inc. "The number of pending official English bills
demonstrates that many legislators are listening to their
constituents, but there are plenty more who need to understand that
Americans from all walks of life want the government to do business in
English. In an election year, I hope that American voters will hold
the politicians' feet to the fire on this unifying and necessary

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:

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