Senator’s Bill Would Make English The Official Language Of The U.S.
Congress will be considering legislation this session that would make English the official language of the United States.
The English Language Unity Act of 2015 has been introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) in their respective chambers. The bills would require all official business of the U.S. government to be conducted in English.
It is the third time King has introduced such legislation, and this time it has drawn 94 co-sponsors, including Democrats Mike McIntryre of North Carolina and Nick Rahall of West Virginia.
Sen. Inhofe issued a written statement explaining that the purpose of the bill is “to strengthen the cords of unity that come from sharing one vision and one language.”
Rep. King also released a statement saying that the bill would make the success of immigrants a “top priority,” noting that every sovereign nation, including the Vatican, has an official language.
As many as 325 languages are spoken in the U.S.
Supporters point out that such a measure would help immigrants succeed in work and school as they assimilate into American life. They also note that the requirement would reduce the amount of paper, as well as the expense of providing translations of official forms and documents.
Opponents of the bill say it is a “non-issue.”
King’s bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the Judiciary Committee, and the subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, which may consider and debate the language, hear testimony pro and con, offer amendments or merely let the bill languish and die without further action.
Inhofe’s bill will undergo the same process in the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committees.
If the bills make it out of committee for a vote by the House and Senate, a conference committee would iron out any differences in the two versions and a single bill would be sent to President Obama for certain veto.
Although a recent Rasmussen poll showed that 84 per cent of Americans support English as the official language of the U.S., the proposed legislation would not have sufficient numbers in Congress to override a presidential veto by the two-thirds needed.
Gov.track.us, an unaffiliated website that makes legislative data available online to encourage citizen empowerment and participation, rates the bills’ chances of becoming law at -0- percent.