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Jim Inhofe introduces national English bill

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Published: May 7, 2009

photo - Sen. James Inhofe Tulsa Republican
Sen. James Inhofe Tulsa Republican
WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim Inhofe introduced a bill on Wednesday that would make English the national language and another that would establish a language requirement for people who are seeking to become U.S. citizens.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, has authored legislation previously that would make English the national language as well as reverse an executive order from 2000 that requires the recipients of federal money to provide their services in different languages for people who have limited proficiency with English.

Inhofe’s bill would establish that there is no "entitlement” to receive government documents or services in other languages unless there is a law mandating it.

"Our nation was settled by a group of people with a common vision, and as our population has grown, so has our cultural diversity,” Inhofe said. "This diversity is part of what makes our nation great. However, we must be able to communicate with one another so that we can appreciate our differences. By establishing that there is no entitlement to receive documents or services in languages other than English, we set the precedent that English is common to us all in the public forum of government.”

State measure hailed
Inhofe introduced his bills on the same day the Oklahoma Legislature approved a ballot question to make English the official language of the state.

"I am encouraged by the state Legislature’s tireless efforts to affirm the importance of English as the unifying language in our society,” Inhofe said.


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