Text: H.R.4424 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

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HR 4424 IH
101st CONGRESS
2d Session
 H. R. 4424
To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official
language of the Government of the United States.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 29, 1990
Mr. EMERSON (for himself, Mr. SKELTON, Mr. SHUMWAY, Mr. BROOMFIELD,
Mr. DICKINSON, Mr. IRELAND, Mr. MYERS of Indiana, Mr. PORTER, and Mr. ROGERS)
introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on
Education and Labor
A BILL
To amend title 4, United States Code, to declare English as the official
language of the Government of the United States.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
  This Act may be cited as the `Language of Government Act of 1990'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
  The Nation has benefited throughout its history by using the common language
  of English. The Congress finds and declares that English, the language
  of opportunity, should be recognized in law as the official language of
  the United States. The purpose of this Act (and the amendments made by
  this Act) is to maintain the benefits of a single official language of the
  Government of the United States. There is no intent to discriminate against
  or restrict the rights of any individual in the United States. Except where
  an existing law of the United States directly contravenes this Act (or the
  amendments made by this Act) (such as by requiring the use of a language
  other than English for an official act of Government of the United States),
  no implied repeal of existing laws of the United States is intended.
SEC. 3. ENGLISH AS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.
  (a) IN GENERAL- Title 4, United States Code, is amended by adding at the
  end the following new chapter:
`CHAPTER 6--LANGUAGE OF THE GOVERNMENT
`Sec.
`161. Declaration of official language.
`162. Preserving official language.
`163. Government activities in English.
`164. Antidiscrimination provisions.
`165. Standing.
`166. Definitions.
`Sec. 161. Declaration of official language
  `The official language of the Government of the United States is English.
`Sec. 162. Preserving and enhancing the role of the official language
  `The Governnment shall have an affirmative obligation to protect, preserve,
  and enhance the role of English as the official language of the United
  States.
`Sec. 163. Government activities in English
  `(a) DENIAL OF SERVICES- No person shall be denied services, assistance,
  or facilities, directly or indirectly provided by the Government solely
  because the person communicates in English.
  `(b) ENTITLEMENT- Every person in the United States is entitled to--
  `(1) communicate with the Government in English;
  `(2) receive information from or contribute information to the Government
  in English; and
  `(3) be informed of or be subject to official orders in English.
  `(c) RESTRICTIONS- No entity to which this chapter applies shall make
  or enforce an official act that requires the use of a language other
  than English.
`Sec. 164. Antidiscrimination provisions
  `Any person in the United States discriminated against solely because the
  person communicates in English shall be considered to have been discriminated
  against on the basis of national origin, and all lawful remedies available
  under section 701 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e) shall
  be available to a person so discriminated against.
`Sec. 165. Standing
  `Any resident of the United States (including a corporation) alleging a
  violation of this chapter shall have standing to sue in the courts of the
  United States under sections 2201 and 2202 of title 28, United States Code,
  and for such other relief as may be considered appropriate by the courts
  (including attorneys fees under section 2412 of title 28, United States
  Code, or similar statutes).
`Sec. 166. Definitions
  For purposes of this chapter:
  `(1) GOVERNMENT- The term `Government' means all branches of the Government
  of the United States and all employees and officials of the Government of
  the United States while performing official acts.
  `(2) OFFICIAL- The term `official' means governmental actions, documents,
  or policies that are enforceable with full weight and authority of the
  Government, but does not include--
  `(A) actions, documents, or policies that are purely informational or
  educational;
  `(B) actions, documents, or policies that are not enforceable in the
  United States;
  `(C) actions that protect the public health or safety;
  `(D) actions that protect the rights of victims of crimes or criminal
  defendants; and
  `(E) documents that utilize terms of art or phrases from languages other
  than English.'.
  (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of chapters for title 4, United States
  Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
161'.
SEC. 4. PREEMPTION.
  This Act (and the amendments made by this Act) shall not preempt any law
  of any State.
SEC. 5. EFFECTIVE DATE.
  This Act (and the amendments made by this Act) shall take effect upon the
  date of the enactment of this Act, except that no suit may be commenced
  to enforce or determine rights created by this Act (or amendments) until
  January 1, 1991.