After 11 months of ignoring petitions that have reached more than 100,000 signatures, the Trump White House is temporarily shutting down its petition website. According to the Associated Press, the platform was taken down on Tuesday and will be come back as a new website in late January.
The site, called "We The People," was created by the Obama administration in 2011. Its purpose was to provide "all Americans a way to create and sign petitions on a range of issues affecting our nation." According to the Obama White House, if a petition garnered more than 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the administration was supposed to issue an official response.
But ever since President Trump came into office in January 2017, the White House hasn't responded to any the petitions issued during the course of his administration.
A quick scan of the archived version of the website shows that many of the petitions have been highly critical of the Trump administration. Some the petitions with the most signatures include calling for President Trump to release his tax returns, which acquired 1.1 million signatures; preserve the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which obtained more than 222,000 signatures; and not repeal the net neutrality regulations, which was signed by more than 253,000 people.
A Trump administration official told the Associated Press that the relaunch of the site will save taxpayers $1.3 million per year. The official also said that the White House will begin to respond to petitions that have acquired more than 100,000 signatures once the new website is live.