< Back to H.R. 3333 (107th Congress, 2001–2002)

Text of the Declaration of Official Language Act of 2001

This bill was introduced on November 16, 2001, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Nov 16, 2001 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 3333 IH

107th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3333

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

November 16, 2001

Mr. STUMP (for himself, Mr. ISTOOK, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. PAUL, Mr. DEAL of Georgia, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. KING, Mr. TANCREDO, Mr. SHOWS, and Mr. GOODE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisidiction of the committee concerned


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 ‘Declaration of Official Language Act of 2001’.

SEC. 2. 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 and enhancing the role of the official language.

      ‘163. Duties of citizenship.

      ‘164. Reform of naturalization requirement.

      ‘165. Exceptions.

      ‘166. Preemption.

      ‘167. Construction.

      ‘168. Enforcement.

      ‘169. Prohibition.

‘Sec. 161. Declaration of official language

    ‘English is the official language of the Government of the United States.

‘Sec. 162. Preserving and enhancing the role of the official language

    ‘The Government of the United States shall preserve and enhance the role of English as the official language of the United States of America. Unless specifically stated in applicable law, no person has a right, entitlement, or claim to have the Government of the United States or any of its officials or representatives act, communicate, perform or provide services, or provide materials in any language other than English. If exceptions are made, that does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language or any language other than English.’.

‘Sec. 163. Duties of citizenship

    ‘All United States citizens should be encouraged to read, write, and speak English to the extent of their physical and mental abilities.

‘Sec. 164. Reform of naturalization requirements

    ‘(a) It has been the long-standing national belief that full citizenship in the United States requires fluency in English. English is the language of opportunity for all immigrants to take their rightful place in American society.

    ‘(b) The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall--

      ‘(1) enforce the established English language proficiency standard for all applicants for United States citizenship, and

      ‘(2) conduct all naturalization ceremonies entirely in English.

‘Sec. 165. Exceptions

    ‘This chapter does not apply to the use of a language other than English for--

      ‘(1) religious purposes,

      ‘(2) training in foreign languages for international communication,

      ‘(3) use of non-English terms of art in government documents,

      ‘(4) law enforcement, or

      ‘(5) scientific terminology.

‘Sec. 166. Preemption

    ‘This chapter preempts any Federal law, regulation, policy guidance, agency ruling or determination, or any other Federal action or policy which is inconsistent with this chapter.

‘Sec. 167. Construction

    ‘This Act is not intended to affect programs in schools designed to encourage students to learn foreign languages.

‘Sec. 168. Enforcement

    ‘(a) CAUSE OF ACTION- Whoever is injured by a violation of this chapter may, in a civil action, obtain appropriate relief.

    ‘(b) ATTORNEY’S FEES- In any action under this chapter, the court may allow a prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of costs.

‘Sec. 169. Prohibition

    ‘No agency or department of the United States shall require the government of any State or subdivision thereof, or any person or organization, to communicate or provide materials in any language 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. 3. REPEAL OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION ACT.

    (a) REPEAL OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION ACT- The Bilingual Education Act (20 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) is repealed.

    (b) TERMINATION OF OFFICE OF BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND MINORITY LANGUAGES AFFAIRS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs in the Department of Education is terminated.

      (2) REPEAL OF CONFORMING PROVISIONS- Sections 209, 216, and 413(b)(1)(A) of the Department of Education Organization Act are repealed.

    (c) UNOBLIGATED FUNDS- At the end of the transition period described in subsection (d)(2), the Secretary shall deposit in the general fund of the Treasury any funds that have not been awarded or obligated for grants under the Bilingual Education Act (20 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.).

    (d) TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS-

      (1) COMPLETION OF PROGRAMS DURING CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR- Subsection (a) shall not apply to any program under the Bilingual Education Act (20 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) until completion of the most recent school year of the program that commences after the date of the enactment of this Act.

      (2) ASSISTANCE FOR TRANSITION TO SPECIAL ALTERNATIVE INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS- During the 1-year period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Education may assist local educational agencies in the transition of children enrolled in programs assisted under the Bilingual Education Act (20 U.S.C 7401 et seq.) to special alternative instructional programs (as such programs are described in section 7501 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 7601) that do not make use of the native language of the student.

SEC. 4. CONSTRUCTION.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed as requiring that a State or local educational agency develop, implement, provide, or maintain a program of bilingual education.

SEC. 5. RELEASE FROM DECREE.

    Any consent decree entered into with a State, locality, or local educational agency, and either the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, or the Department of Education that requires such State, locality, or local educational agency to develop, implement, provide, or maintain any form of bilingual education is void.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    Except as provided in subsections (c) and (d) of section 3, this Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. REPEAL OF BILINGUAL VOTING REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) IN GENERAL-

      (1) BILINGUAL ELECTION REQUIREMENTS- Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a) is repealed.

      (2) VOTING RIGHTS- Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973b) is amended by striking subsection (f).

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENTS-

      (1) REFERENCES TO SECTION 203- The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.) is amended--

        (A) in section 204, by striking ‘or 203,’; and

        (B) in the first sentence of section 205, by striking ‘, 202, or 203’ and inserting ‘or 202’.

      (2) REFERENCES TO SECTION 7- The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973 et seq.) is amended--

        (A) in sections 2(a), 3(a), 3(b), 3(c), 4(d), 5, 6, and 13, by striking ‘, or in contravention of the guarantees set forth in section 4(f)(2)’;

        (B) in paragraphs (1)(A) and (3) of section 4(a), by striking ‘or (in the case of a State or subdivision seeking a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2)’; and

        (C) in paragraphs (1)(B) and (5) of section 4(a), by striking ‘or (in the case of a State or subdivision which sought a declaratory judgment under the second sentence of this subsection) that denials or abridgments of the right to vote in contravention of the guarantees of subsection (f)(2) have occurred anywhere in the territory of such State or subdivision’.