” White House Petitions ” We the People” Go Unanswered for Over 2 years”

" The White House" #AceWorldNews says the Obama administration has touted the White House website’s ‘We the People’ section as a powerful platform for the American public to petition their government. According to a new report, however, those solicitations are all too rarely acknowledged.

“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens,”United States President Barack Obama wrote on WhiteHouse.gov back in September 2011. He was unveiling at the time the website’s new ‘We the People’ feature, and said the addition of it would be “giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”

“Soon, anyone will be able to create or sign a petition at WhiteHouse.gov seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues,” senior advisor David Plouffe added at the time. “If a petition gathers enough signatures, the White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to Obama Administration policy experts and issue an official response.”

But 27 months later, an investigation conducted by federal technology site NextGov has revealed that many of the petitions that have met the criteria needed for a response have been long ignored by the administration — including at least one that’s been in limbo for over two years.

“There are currently 30 We the People petitions that have crossed the threshold for an official White House reply but not yet gotten one, including eight that have waited more than one year,” Joseph Marks wrote for NextGov on Thursday this week.

On average, Marks added, those petitions have waited around 10 months apiece so far for a response.

In the two-plus years since being launched, the White House has undoubtedly been aware of the popularity of the We the People section of its site. Originally the administration required that petitions receive only 5,000 signatures to warrant a response, and then raised that threshold to 25,000 autographs and eventually 100,000.

The White House has responded to 134 requests since Sept. 2011—or around five a month. But 30 petitions that surpassed the signature threshold still remain unanswered, including some that accumulated far more digital autographs than necessary.

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