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White House Answers Online Petitions, Ducks Tax-Return Issue

by Countable | 2.26.18

UPDATE: February 26, 2018: After a year of silence, the White House petition website "We The People" is back online, and the Trump administration is starting to address the backlog of petitions signed by the American people. Mostly.

  • The White House is ducking the high-profile petition - signed by more than 1.1 Americans - calling on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns. The administration said the question "is not within the scope" of the site as it "does not address an action or policy of the Federal Government."

  • An August 2017 petition asked that "AntiFa" - a collection of self-proclaimed anti-fascist activists - be declared a terrorist organization. The White House responded that the president opposes violence, but federal law provides no "mechanism for formally designating domestic terrorist organizations."

  • Responses to the other petitions that reached the 100,000-signature threshold required for an official reply can be found here.

Read Countable's earlier coverage of this story below.


UPDATE February 1, 2018: The Washington Post reports that the White House petition website, "We The People" is back up online. Despite a promise that the new site would be improved, saving taxpayers $1 million annually, the only change seems to be a note about promising prompt response:

“100,000 Signatures in 30 Days. Get an official update from the White House within 60 days.”

Several petitions previously featured on the site critical of President Trump or his policies are still there and collecting signatures.

The original Countable story discussing the disabling of the site in December is below.


What’s the story?

The White House is temporarily removing the "We The People" petition tool after 11 months of silence.

The site was set up by the Obama administration in 2011 and promised a response to all petitions drawing more than 100,000 signatures.

Why does it matter?

The Trump administration hasn’t responded to any of the 17 petitions that have met the signature threshold since the President took office. Some of these include petitions calling for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, asking for the anti-fascist group Antifa to be recognized as a terrorist organization, and requesting that liberal financier George Soros be declared a terrorist.

The White House said the new site, set to launch by the end of January, will save taxpayers over $1 million dollars a year. And a note posted on Petitions.WhiteHouse.Gov promised:

"All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched. Following the site's relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses."

What do you think?

Have you used We The People? Do you support revamping the site to save taxpayers money? Should Congress pass a law requiring the White House to respond to petitions with a certain number of signatures? Hit Take Action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman, Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Petitions.Whitehouse.gov)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(113)
  • Andy1
    12/21/2017
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    If trump wanted to listen to the will of the people, he wouldn’t be (p)resident

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  • Betty
    12/21/2017
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    Why waste our time with a petition that this corrupt WH won't answer. Let them shove this site up their own asses. We need to protest Washington DC and demand the removal of trump and his administration. I never thought I would want to do something like this, but we Americans are being left no choice,

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  • Countryfirst
    12/21/2017
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    The orange haired buffoon..the MORON in chief wants a DICTATORSHIP!!! OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE GIVING THIS COUNTRY TO A TREASONOUS INSANE IMMORAL ASS!

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  • Stallion
    12/21/2017
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    Another effort by Trump to silence and keep Americans in the dark as he takes away freedoms of democracy

    Like (39)
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  • Mary
    12/21/2017
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    Trump is not part of "we the people". He is all about fascism, racism, the wealthy and screwing people including the majority of Americans. He is not interested in answering to anything related to Obama another example of his racism. He does not support truth and honesty. He is a liar who plays off on people's fears for his own agenda. I'm not sure we would like the answers he gives to us as he addresses these questions if he ever does. Everything is "terrific" and "great" to his delusional brain and mind.

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  • Donna
    12/21/2017
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    Where are my elected representatives? When will they start taking their oath of office seriously and perform their responsibility of oversight? Why the hell are they allowing our democracy to deteriorate under this administration? We have members of the administration all but calling Robert Mueller a traitor. We have members of Congress accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of criminal activity. We have state TV (Fox News) accusing the FBI and Robert Mueller of attempting a coup against or assassination of the president. These are actions you would expect from the autocrats in Turkey or the Philippines or China or Russia, not by freely elected representatives of the US. Why is the Colorado delegation not expressing outrage? Is our entire Congress so corrupted by power? The GOP lost its soul and morality a year ago. Has it now lost its patriotism also? I refuse to allow them to silently stand by while our democracy is destroyed by a corrupt, soulless, unethical con artist. I am sickened by what you have ignored for a freaking year. Everyone of you should lose your jobs -- tomorrow. November 2018 may be too late to save this republic.

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  • Julie
    12/21/2017
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    TYRANT.

    Like (25)
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  • AngelaWood
    12/21/2017
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    Congress should pass a law that a POTUS must answer to a petition that meets the required number of signatures on the White House website. I know you don't listen to the Oklahoma voters who put you in office. I have no clue why I keep beseeching you to listen to the voters and you never do. You are only interested in campaign donors and big corporations NOT the American people and certainly not the voters in Oklahoma.

    Like (19)
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  • Ticktock
    12/21/2017
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    Why would an authoritarian government care about public opinion or be concerned with petitions. If The American voting public wanted a responsive government they should not listen to campaign promises they should look at the candidates past, personality, morals and ethics and re-evaluate our own values. There is something seriously wrong with our electorate. We bought a ticket and will have to take the ride at least until 2018 and 2020. Our President nor Congress are interested in our voices.

    Like (17)
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  • HockeyGuy
    12/21/2017
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    We are on the path to a dictatorship! Removing the site for petitions is just another action to silence the people! Trump must be removed from office!

    Like (16)
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  • Deirdre
    12/21/2017
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    I petition that we impeach trump and get rid of the republicans

    Like (12)
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  • L0u15e.N032L
    12/21/2017
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    Why should this Administration believe in democracy and our constitution? Everything Obama did is being wiped out, not necessarily because it was bad policy, I would suggest because they can't, in Trump world, believe in minorities or support "others" as it goes against their outdated world view. Their's is not a world view or an American view of civilized people of all types. Their view is lie. A drain the swamp rhetoric that belies reality. Look at the people he has hired. They are oligarchs with no incentive to listen to "We the People". So why should this Administration listen to petitions. They are the new Ayn Rands. Against democracy and only for themselves. Goodnight America.

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  • Jessica
    12/21/2017
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    “Temporarily.” Like anyone in his administration gives a damn what anyone not in the 1% thinks.

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  • RadicalModerate
    12/21/2017
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    We shouldn’t need a petition website. Our representatives are supposed to familiarize themselves with the concerns of their constituents, go to Washington and legislate. The only time I ever saw John Katko, he lied to my face. The first letter I ever received from his office... Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 1841, the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act of 2017. It is good to hear from you. Any proposal to alter the regulations on a controlled substance must be carefully considered to ensure the protection and preservation of public safety. Having served as a federal prosecutor and witnessed the impact of drug-related crimes, I have concerns about the legalization of marijuana because I believe it can serve as a gateway drug to other, more addictive and harmful, illicit substances. As you may know, on March 30, 2017, H.R. 1841, the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act was reintroduced in the House. The legislation directs the Attorney General to remove marijuana from all schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act. Should this legislation come before the House for a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me on this important matter. I hope that you will continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you and your family, as your input helps me to better serve you as your Representative in Congress. If you would like to stay informed of the latest issues coming out of Washington, you can visit www.katko.house.gov to sign up for my e-newsletter. Sincerely, John Katko Member of Congress

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  • John
    12/21/2017
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    Pass a law that forces the administration to address any petition that gains enough signatures. 45’s aim is to shut out any voice that questions or challenges his twisted ideas. There should be a petition that demands a public psychological exam of the FUCKING MORON & members of his gang.

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  • John
    12/22/2017
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    Never forget the trump lost the popular vote so hearing and responding to the will of the people isn't on his agenda ...it's all about him and damn anyone else. One day his followers may realize this.

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  • Robert
    02/02/2018
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    We don’t need petitions we need an arrest warrant

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  • William
    12/21/2017
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    Tyrant. The orange orangutang your party elected is destroying democracy.

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  • Joanne
    12/21/2017
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    WOW!!! Reading these comments you can see how angry, upset, mad the American people are, as they should be. This administration is lethal and poisonous. They have total disregard for the people and I feel the new website will never be. Countable, I hope you send all of these comments to our representatives and trump.

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  • Alan
    12/21/2017
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    I love how these liberals / anti Trump / Antifa enablers argue and try to make a case. It makes them look dumber and dumber everyday. Thank You President Trump for preserving our country. Trump 2020!

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