Washington, DC—U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today applauded the introduction of a bill which would declare English the official language of the United States, also calling on Congress to work toward swift enactment of the legislation.

H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act, was introduced by Iowa Rep. Steve King, a longtime leader of Official English policies. The bill would remove the requirement that federal government agencies operate in languages other than English, in an effort to encourage English learning among the nation’s limited English proficient population and to save tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money.

“The English Language Unity Act is common sense legislation that aims to unite all residents of the United States through English, our common, shared language,” Chairman Mujica said. “With more than 325 languages spoken in this country, creating a policy that guides the government to operate in a common language sends a message to all residents that English is essential to success. Without limiting the languages that an individual may speak, H.R. 997 adds an additional incentive for non-English speakers to become proficient in English—for their own benefit. I commend Rep. King for his continued leadership on this unifying policy and encourage his colleagues in the House of Representatives to go on the record in support of Official English and help move this bill toward passage.”

H.R. 997 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it awaits further action. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the United States Senate in the coming weeks.

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.