The Trump administration took down a website used to host petitions for the federal government that was established by former President Obama in 2011.
According to the Associated Press, The “We The People” website will go dark on Tuesday night, though a White House official said it will return in January as a new site. The official did say that all existing petitions and responses will be restored during the reboot. According to this official, the move will save taxpayers $1.3 million a year.
When the website was founded, petitions that reach a 100,000-signature threshold receive a response from the White House. So far, the Trump administration has yet to respond to any of the 17 petitions that have garnered at least 100,000 signatures since President Donald Trump took office.
The White House official said that the Trump administration will begin issuing responses to the petitions after the relaunch.
For the most part, AP noted, the petition service was used mainly by critics of the administration and much less by supporters. Among the petitions that have reached the signature threshold include a call for Trump to release his tax returns and put his financial assets in a blind trust. There are also petitions to continue funding and halt funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Obama administration frequently responded to petitions on the site, including calls to pardon Edward Snowden, better label genetically modified foods, for several southern states to leave the U.S. and others.