May 20 2006
Senate Passes Amendment Making English the National Language of the U.S.
This week, the Senate passed an amendment by a vote of 63 to 34 that English will be the “National Language” of the U.S. and declaring that no person has a right to federal communications or services in any language other than English, with the exception of those already guaranteed by law.
While the measure does not alter any laws currently in place that require certain government documents and services to be provided multilingually, opponents of the measure state that it could go against executive orders, regulations and guidance that were not officially sanctioned by Congress.
But, ultimately, it is quite confusing as to what power this measure will actually have. The support it received was assuredly due to politicians affecting nationalism, an alternate measure was passed immediately after this one that declared English the “common unifying language of the United States [but would not] diminish or expand any existing rights [for multilingual services].”