Monday, July 27, 2015

Graves: It is time to make English our official language

(From Sixth District Congressman Sam Graves)

America is a collection of people from different races, religions, and backgrounds – that is part of what makes this country great. But a common language is what brings all of us together to form a community.

A provision in Obamacare forces every call center in the U.S. to offer services in 150 different languages. There are no requirements to track the costs of these services, however, so no one really knows how much the federal government spends each year hiring translators and printing documents in multiple languages.

Last week, I introduced the Cost of Services and Translations (COST) Act in the House of Representatives. My bill will require all federal agencies to report the amount they spend operating in languages other than English. It will strengthen the case to make English the official language of the U.S., and it will hold the federal government accountable for how it is spending taxpayer dollars.

More than 90 percent of countries in the world have an official language, while public opinion has consistently shown that a majority of Americans favor making English the official language of the U.S. It is time that we take that step.

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