As the Colorado Independent’s Teddy Wilson reports:
Colorado Republican Congressmen Mike Coffman (CD-6) and Doug Lamborn (CD-5) have joined a hundred of their colleagues this year in sponsoring a bill to make English the official language of the United States.
English language bills are among those introduced practically every session of Congress without any expectation of making it to a vote by the full House or Senate. This year, however, the bill might get a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. Texas Congressman Lamar Smith (TX-21) told WOAI that he would “support efforts to make English the official language and may consider bringing up the issue in the House Judiciary Committee down the road.”
Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King introduced HR 997, the English Language Unity Act of 2011, which would make English the official language of the United States. The legislation would require official functions of the United States be conducted in English. It would create English language requirements and workplace policies in the public sector, and any exceptions to this standard “should be limited to extraordinary circumstances, such as asylum.”
This isn’t an out-of-character move for Rep. Mike Coffman, who succeeded arch anti-immigrant Tom Tancredo representing the old CD-6, and who sponsored a bill last fall to roll back requirements under federal law to distribute bilingual ballots to communities in need of them.
We say this isn’t an out-of-character move for Coffman, but we remain surprised that he remains bent on pushing these kinds of divisive bills now that his district has been remapped into a hotly competitive and ethnically very diverse place. You might give Coffman points for consistency, “holding true” to his values even at the risk of alienating his new constituents.
Or you might not think that risk deserves a compliment.