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Public Statements

English as the Official Language

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. Broun) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I love America, and I cherish the values and principles that America represents. Those values are increasingly threatened today by an erosion of one of the primary bonds that keeps us together, a common language.

Large scale legal and illegal immigration threatens our societal cohesion and America's shared values when arrivals are unwilling to learn English. The current policies of our Federal Government actually enable this erosion when it provides official documents in multiple languages. This eliminates any incentive to learn English. America's genius as a melting-pot Nation has always been promoted by assimilation to a common language, and that language is English.

Today, I am introducing legislation that declares English to be the official language of the United States Government. Under the English As the Official Language Act of 2008, no person has an entitlement to receive Federal documents and services in languages other than English unless required by law. If the U.S. government is generous enough to make an exception, the exception does not create a legal entitlement or precedent to additional services in any other language other than English. This essential legislation will significantly reduce costs to our Federal Government and will encourage new legal immigrants to quickly adopt America's native tongue.

Learning English has always been and will continue to be a key step in achieving the American Dream. I applaud my fellow colleague in the other House, Senator Jim Inhofe, for introducing identical legislation in the Senate, and for his continued leadership on this critically important issue.

Making English the official language of our great land is not just about preserving our culture and heritage. Learning English is an essential step for our Nation's newest potential citizens that they must take if they want to achieve the American Dream. I plead with my colleagues to strengthen America by supporting English As the Official Language Act of 2008.

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