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Senate Votes on 2007-198
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Vote number 2007-198 declaring English as the official language of the US government
on Jun 6, 2007 regarding bill S.Amdt.1151 to S.1348 National Language Amendment Act
Results: Amendment Agreed to, 64-33

Voting YES would declare English as the national language of the Government of the US. Unless specifically provided by statute, no person would have an entitlement to have the Government of the US communicate or provide materials in any language other than English. If an exception is made with respect to the use of a language other than English, the exception does not create a legal entitlement to additional services in that language. If any form is issued by the Federal Government in a language other than English, the English language version of the form is the sole authority for all legal purposes. Nothing in this amendment shall prohibit the use of a language other than English.

Proponents recommend voting YES because:

Right now, the polling shows that 91% of the people in America want English as an official language, and 76% of Hispanics believe English should be an official language.

Opponents recommend voting NO because:

I believe the American people understand in order to succeed in our society, immigrants need to learn English. But the amendment would do a number of things that are problematical. The first is that it is contrary to the provisions of law that exist in many States. For example, in New Mexico, you have in their State Constitution, a provision that says that many of the documents within that State have to be provided in both English and Spanish. The same thing is true for the State of Hawaii. I believe this is a States rights issue, and those constitutions of those States ought to be respected. I do not believe it is a matter we ought to be imposing here from Washington DC.

Also, this amendment would undo an executive order conceived by President Bill Clinton and implemented by President George Bush. Both recognized it is important that people who have limited English proficiency receive the kinds of services so they can understand what is going on in terms of the interface between the Government and themselves.

Categorized under Immigration

Voting NO counts for 2 points on VoteMatch question 12:
Illegal immigrants earn citizenship;
Voting YES counts for -2 points on VoteMatch question 12.

Voting YES counts as answer D on AmericansElect question 4;
Voting NO counts as answer B on AmericansElect question 4

Immigration: When you think about illegal immigration, which of the following solutions come closest to your opinion?
  • A: All illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US legally
  • B: Most illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US, with some exceptions
  • C: Most illegal immigrants should be deported, with some exceptions
  • D: All illegal immigrants should be deported
  • E: Unsure


Democrats voting on 2007-198

Max Baucus YESMT Democratic Sr Senator
Barbara Boxer NOCA Democratic Jr Senator
Sherrod Brown NOOH Democratic Sr Senator
Robert Byrd YESWV Former Democratic Senator
Maria Cantwell NOWA Democratic Jr Senator
Benjamin Cardin YESMD Democratic Jr Senator, previously Representative
Tom Carper YESDE Democratic Sr Senator
Bob Casey NOPA Democratic Sr Senator; previously state treasurer
Hillary Clinton NONY Former Democratic Senator (NY); now Secretary of State
Richard Durbin NOIL Democratic Sr Senator
Russell Feingold NOWI Former Democratic Senator
Dianne Feinstein NOCA Democratic Sr Senator
Tom Harkin NOIA Democratic Jr Senator
Daniel Inouye NOHI Democratic Sr Senator
Ted Kennedy NOMA Former Democrat Senator (until 2009)
John Kerry NOMA Democratic Sr Senator
Amy Klobuchar YESMN Democrat/DFL Sr Senator
Mary Landrieu YESLA Democratic Sr Senator
Frank Lautenberg NONJ Democratic Sr Senator
Patrick Leahy NOVT Democratic Sr Senator
Carl Levin NOMI Democratic Sr Senator
Blanche Lambert Lincoln YESAR Former Democratic Senator
Claire McCaskill YESMO Democratic Sr Senator; previously state Auditor
Robert Menendez NONJ Democratic Jr Senator; previously Representative
Barbara Mikulski YESMD Democratic Sr Senator
Patty Murray NOWA Democratic Sr Senator
Ben Nelson YESNE Democratic Sr Senator
Bill Nelson YESFL Democratic Sr Senator
Barack Obama NOIL Former Democratic Senator (until 2008)
Mark Pryor YESAR Democratic Sr Senator
Jack Reed NORI Democratic Sr Senator
Harry Reid NONV Democratic Sr Senator
John Rockefeller NOWV Democratic Sr Senator
Ken Salazar NOCO Former Democratic Senator (entered Cabinet, 2009)
Charles Schumer NONY Democratic Sr Senator
Arlen Specter YESPA Former Democratic incumbent (elected as Republican)
Debbie Stabenow NOMI Democratic Jr Senator
Jon Tester YESMT Democratic Jr Senator
Sheldon Whitehouse NORI Democratic Jr Senator, previously attorney general
Ron Wyden YESOR Democratic Sr Senator


Republicans voting on 2007-198

Lamar Alexander YESTN Republican Sr Senator
Robert Bennett YESUT Former Republican Senator
Richard Burr YESNC Republican Sr Senator; previously Representative
Saxby Chambliss YESGA Republican Sr Senator
Tom Coburn YESOK Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative
Thad Cochran YESMS Republican Sr Senator
Susan Collins YESME Republican Jr Senator
Bob Corker YESTN Republican Jr Senator
John Cornyn YESTX Republican Jr Senator
Michael Crapo YESID Republican Sr Senator
Jim DeMint YESSC Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative
John Ensign YESNV Republican Jr Senator
Michael Enzi YESWY Republican Sr Senator
Lindsey Graham YESSC Republican Sr Senator
Chuck Grassley YESIA Republican Sr Senator
Orrin Hatch YESUT Republican Sr Senator
James Inhofe YESOK Republican Sr Senator
Johnny Isakson YESGA Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative
Trent Lott YESMS Former Republican Senator (MS, 1989-2007)
Richard Lugar YESIN Republican Sr Senator
John McCain YESAZ Republican Sr Senator
Mitch McConnell YESKY Republican Sr Senator
Lisa Murkowski YESAK Republican Sr Senator
Pat Roberts YESKS Republican Sr Senator
Jeff Sessions YESAL Republican Sr Senator
Richard Shelby YESAL Republican Jr Senator
Olympia Snowe YESME Republican Sr Senator
John Thune YESSD Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative
David Vitter YESLA Republican Jr Senator; previously Representative


Independents voting on 2007-198

Mel Martinez YESFL Former GOP Senator (resigned 2009); previously HUD Secy.
Bernie Sanders NOVT Independent Jr Senator, previously Representative



Total votes recorded by OnTheIssues:

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Democrats: YES 15; NO 25
Republicans: YES 29; NO 0
Independents: YES 1; NO 1