Native Language Bills Get Bipartisan Support

lsa-100Congress-logo1 copyThere’s good news out of Congress for Native American languages, thanks to intensive effort by the Linguistic Society of America’s Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation (CELP)!

Two pieces of legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this year, S. 1948, the “Native Language Immersion Student Achievement Act” and S. 2299, the “Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2014,” were both approved by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on July 30, 2014.  This means both bills can be considered by the full Senate soon.S. 1948 is known as HR. 4124 and S. 2229 is H.R. 726 in the U.S. House of Representatives.

CELP and LSA ran a heated campaign to get their supporters – and anyone else who supports the preservation of endangered languages – to contact their senators and representatives to support the two bills. This vocal pressure worked, and both bills now have bipartisan support in the Senate.

As of July 30, 2014, the list of Sponsors includes these elected representatives:

Senate Bill Sponsors

  • Brian Schatz – S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; HI
  • Mark Begich – S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; AK
  • Tim Johnson – S.1948 co-sponsor, S.2299 lead sponsor; SD
  • Max Baucus – S.1948 co-sponsor; MT (no longer serving in the Senate)
  • Tom Udall – S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; NM
  • Lisa Murkowski – S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; AK
  • Heidi Heitkamp – S.1948 co-sponsor; SD
  • John Walsh- S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; MT
  • Martin Heinrich – S.1948 & S.2299 co-sponsor; NM
  • Al Franken – S.2299 co-sponsor; MN
  • Mazie Hirono – S.2299 co-sponsor; HI
  • Jon Tester – S.1948 lead sponsor, S.2299 co-sponsor; MT
  • Angus King – S.2299 co-sponsor; ME


House Bill Sponsors

  • Ben Ray Lujan – H.R.726 lead sponsor; NM-3
  • Colleen Hanabusa – H.R.726 co-sponsor; HI-1
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard – H.R.726 co-sponsor; CA-40
  • James Moran – H.R.726 co-sponsor; VA-8
  • Gloria Negrete McLeod – H.R.726 co-sponsor; CA-35
  • Louise Slaughter – H.R.726 co-sponsor; NY-25
  • Betty McCollum – H.R.726 & H.R. 4214 co-sponsor; MN-4
  • Stevan Pearce – H.R.726 co-sponsor; NM-2
  • Raul Grijalva – H.R.726 co-sponsor; AZ-3
  • Ed Pastor – H.R.726 co-sponsor; AZ-7
  • Raul Ruiz – H.R.726 co-sponsor; CA-36
  • Tom Cole – H.R.4214 lead sponsor; OK-4


The LSA has sent thank-you letters to all current legislative sponsors of the bills. If your members of Congress are listed as sponsors, you may wish to do the same – by clicking here, where the National Humanities Alliance has established an action alert.

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