No Hablo Espanol, Or Else

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WASHINGTON, D.C: As the Terrorism Bill languished unsigned, late on Thursday night House Speaker Newt Gingrich led his Republican cohorts through six hours of fiery partisan debate concerning a matter the Speaker views as an urgent remedy to avoid "the decay of core parts of our civilization." Inspired, the House passed H.R. 123, which makes English the official language of the United States. The legislation requires most documents to be printed in English, eliminates tax return instructions and ballots written in Spanish or other languages, as well as citizenship ceremonies conducted in foreign languages. Averting the need for a major redesign of U.S. currency, an exception was made for the phrase "E Pluribus Unum." The legislation excuses materials from agencies dealing in international relations, trade, census matters and national security. Another provision concedes that government workers should be allowed to speak foreign languages in order to save the lives of citizens during public health or safety emergencies. Although Speaker Gingrich declared that becoming American means learning English, Democrats railed against the bill. "This is mean-spirited. I don't care how you camouflage it," said Texas Democrat Kika de la Garza. "This bill is making us the laughing stock of the world. It's ridiculous. It's absurd." Terence Nelan