Congress returned from its summer recess on Tuesday and four Representatives marked the occasion by becoming co-sponsors of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act. The addition of these four members – Rep. Jo Bonner, Rep. John Mica, Rep. Jo Ann Emerson and Rep. Mike Pence – brings the total number of co-sponsors to 124, or nearly 30 percent of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Jo Bonner is in his fourth term representing the 1st Congressional District of Alabama. First elected to Congress in 2002, Rep. Bonner has been a strong supporter of official English legislation, co-sponsoring measures to make English the official language in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses. Rep. Bonner was honored with an A in English Award from U.S. English, Inc. in 2008.

Since 1992, the residents of Florida’s 7th Congressional District have sent Rep. John Mica to be their voice on Capitol Hill. He has responded to calls for making English the official language of the United States by becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 997 in the 109th, 110th and 111th Congresses, and his support for official English measures earned him an A in English Award during the 110th Congress.

Currently in her seventh term representing Missouri’s 8th Congressional District, Jo Ann Emerson carries on the official English cause for her late husband, Rep. Bill Emerson. Since filling the remainder of his term in Nov. 1996, she has consistently co-sponsored legislation to make English the official language, including H.R. 997 in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses. Her efforts to continue the mission of one of the leading supporters of official English legislation in the 1990s earned her an A in English Award from U.S. English, Inc. in 2008.

A co-sponsor of H.R. 997 in the 108th, 109th and 110th Congresses, Rep. Mike Pence is once again on board the flagship bill to make English the official language of the United States. Rep. Pence, who represents the 6th Congressional District of Indiana, is serving his fifth term in Congress.

U.S. English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. ( www.usenglish.org ) now has more than 2 million members.