New Congressional Bill To Require Accountability for Government Multilingualism
Rep. Virginia Foxx leads effort to determine taxpayer cost
September 30, 2008
U.S. English, Inc. today hailed the introduction of H.R. 7092, the first Congressional legislation to account for multilingual services provided by the federal government. Offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx, H.R. 7092 would end speculation about the cost of multilingual services by requiring government agencies to disclose these expenditures in their annual accountability reports each year. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
“This is important legislation at a time when no one will deny that the provision of multilingual government services is on the rise,” said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of U.S. English, Inc. “H.R. 7092 will provide honest answers to Congressional offices, the media, and most important, the taxpayers regarding the cost of government multilingualism. I want to thank Rep. Foxx for her dedication to government accountability and to the American people.”
Questions about the cost of government multilingual services has persisted for years, with some sources indicating that expenses are in the millions of dollars, while others claim they are “minimal.” Recently, legislators in several states have moved to pinpoint these outlays, including bill provisions that would require the accounting of multilingual services. In 2008, the Wisconsin House passed legislation which would have required state agencies to detail costs for written and oral translations in languages other than English.
“All too often, the provision of multilingual government services has been a decision made by a single bureaucrat or bureaucrats without the consent of Congress,” added Mujica. “While we can all support translations for emergency services and extraordinary circumstances, the offering of day-to-day documents in languages other than English is an action opposed by many in Congress and the majority of the American people. H.R. 7092 will give us a full picture of government multilingualism and I urge Congress to consider this bill.”