JD Vance bill sets English as official language

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio)
Greg Nash
Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) arrives to the Senate Chamber for a vote regarding a nomination on Wednesday, March 15, 2023.

Sen. JD Vance (R-Ohio) introduced a bill on Thursday that would make English the official language of the United States. 

Vance said in a release that the bill would also require that government functions are conducted in English and would introduce an English language test for immigrants to become naturalized as citizens. 

“This commonsense legislation recognizes an inherent truth: English is the language of this country. That is why the overwhelming majority of the American people support this proposal,” Vance said. “The English language has been a cornerstone of American culture for over 250 years. It is far past time for Congress to codify its place into law, which is exactly what this bill does.” 

The release states that the bill would apply to all “laws, public proceedings, regulations, publications, orders, actions, programs and policies” from the federal government. 

But, it would not apply to teaching other languages, communications necessary for national security, international relations, trade, tourism or commerce and related to public health and safety, the U.S. Census, actions that protect victims of crimes or those accused of crimes and terms or phrases from other languages. 

The bill would also not affect requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a federal law the requires free public education be provided to children with disabilities and who speak other languages. 

The section of the bill concerning the uniform language testing standard states that all citizens should be able to “read and understand generally” the text of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and all federal laws “made in pursuance” of the Constitution in English. 

The bill also states that it should not be construed as preventing a federal official from communicating informally through another language, to limit the use of Alaska Native or Native American languages or to discourage any person from learning a new language. 

The release notes that most countries throughout the world have official national languages. The U.S. is one of a handful of countries that does not.

The release also notes that a majority of states and all territories have already made English their official language.

Tags J.D. Vance

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video