Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) proposed legislation this week that would declare English as the official language of the federal government.
"The English language has long been a unifying aspect of the United States," Stockman said in a letter to House colleagues seeking support for the bill.
A House Republican has proposed legislation that would require the federal government to operate as much as possible in the English language. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM
"The time has come that English is declared the official language of the United States," he added. Stockman wrote that this change would "reduce barriers to understanding and discourse in the operations of government."
Under his bill, the government would be required to conduct all official business in English, "including publications, income tax forms, and informational materials." The bill would also require the government to "preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the United States of America."
"Unless specifically stated in applicable law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English," it says.
One section of the bill would repeal a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that sets bilingual voting requirements, and says only English can be used in ceremonies for the admission of new U.S. citizens. Stockman said in his letter that English-only elections would help reduce election costs.
Read Stockman's bill here: