Legislation to reauthorize the historic Voting Rights Act contains a bad idea for America and for all our voting rights. It would continue to force certain counties to provide ballots and election materials in foreign languages.
Supporters say that requiring bilingual ballots strengthens our democracy by allowing everyone to participate. But the reality is the opposite. By sending the message that learning English isn’t important, bilingual ballots help consign immigrants to the margins of our democracy.
And Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity has pointed out another problem with the federal government’s requiring bilingual ballots: If only United States citizens can vote, and one of the requirements for being a citizen is that you learn English, why in the world would we need bilingual ballots? The answer, unfortunately, is election fraud. Non-citizens are using these ballots. How exactly does this strengthen our democracy?
Fifty-six members of the House have rightly called on Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to remove the bilingual ballot requirement from the Voting Rights bill. Congress should just say "no" to bilingual ballots and "yes" to English-only federal election ballots.
Hastert Hears the Heartland: Enough With the Pork!
Just when it seems like Congress doesn’t understand the growing frustration of conservatives over pork-barrel spending, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives gives a sign that he, at least, is listening.
The Senate passed a $109-billion "emergency" spending bill last week. The word "emergency" is in quotation marks for a reason: The "emergencies" the pork-laden bill addresses include such items as $6 million to help sugar cane growers in Hawaii and $10 million to equip fishing boats with electronic logbooks.
All in all, the bill contains about $17 billion in pet projects. So House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) put his foot down. He called the bill "dead on arrival." And then Hastert decided to really speak his mind: "President Bush requested $92 billion for the War on Terror and some hurricane spending. The House used fiscal restraint, but now the Senate wants to come to the table with a tab that’s $17 billion over budget. The House has no intention of joining in a spending spree at the expense of American taxpayers."
Well done and well said, Speaker Hastert.