Bill mandates English for Pledge, anthem

Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP senators to donors: Stick with us regardless of Trump Overnight Healthcare: Mysterious new Zika case | Mental health bill in doubt | Teletraining to fight opioids Hopes dim for mental health deal MORE (R-Tenn.) introduced a resolution yesterday calling for “The Star-Spangled Banner” and other traditional patriotic compositions to be recited or sung solely in English.

The resolution states that the national anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance and other “statements or songs that symbolize the unity of the nation … should be recited or sung in English, the common language of the United States.”

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) co-sponsored the bill, as did Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcAuliffe: Clinton won't move TPP without changes Scalise says FCC chair should abandon set-top box plan Progressive group changes tone on Kaine MORE (R-Ky.) and Sens. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonTim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense Clinton set to break ceiling GOP senators to donors: Stick with us regardless of Trump MORE (R-Ga.), Pat RobertsPat RobertsMeet the rising GOP star who already enrages the left Senators ask IRS to issue guidance to help startups GOP makes new push on wildfire bills MORE (R-Kan.), Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) and Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

The legislation is a response to a Spanish-language version of the national anthem, “Nuestro Himno,” which was released Friday.

Alexander said on the chamber floor, “I worry, Mr. President, that translating our national anthem will actually have the effect of dividing us. It adds to the celebration of multiculturalism in our society, which has eroded our understanding of our common American culture.

“We wouldn’t recite the Pledge in French, or German, or Russian, or Hindi, or even Chinese ... and we shouldn’t sing the national anthem in Spanish, or any other foreign language.”

President Bush weighed in during a briefing with reporters Friday, stating, “I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English.”

The legislation was introduced as hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in a nationwide rally and economic boycott to protest recent immigration initiatives by Congress.