Congressman Steve King and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) released the following statements after introducing legislation in their respective chambers to establish English as the official language of the United States government. The legislation, the English Language Unity Act of 2011, requires all official functions of the United States to be conducted in English, establishes a uniform language requirement for naturalization, and places an obligation on representatives of the federal government to encourage individuals to learn English. In the House of Representatives, King’s bill is designated H.R. 997. Senator Inhofe’s bill is designated S.503.
Statement of Congressman King:
“A common language is the most powerful unifying force known throughout history,”said King. “We need to encourage assimilation of all legal immigrants in each generation. A nation divided by language cannot pull together as effectively as a people.”
Statement of Senator Inhofe:
“This legislation will provide much-needed commonality among United States citizens, regardless of heritage,” Inhofe said. “As a nation built by immigrants, it is important that we share one vision and one official language.”
Both King and Inhofe have been champions of promoting English as the official language for the United States, having previously introduced this legislation in 2009. In addition, as a member of Iowa’s Senate, King led the successful effort to enact legislation establishing English as Iowa’s official language.
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