WH Temporarily Removes Petition Tool From Website Until Late January

Jon Elswick/ELNJS

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is temporarily removing a petition tool from its website after 11 months of silence, promising to respond to public concerns next year.

The Trump administration says the platform, used extensively by critics and less frequently by allies, will return in late January as a new site.

A White House official says the move will save taxpayers $1.3 million annually. Initially named “We the People” by the Obama administration, the site launched in 2011.

The official says all existing petitions and responses will be restored next year, when petitions that reach the required 100,000 signatures will begin receiving responses. Among the unanswered petitions that have met the threshold are calls on President Donald Trump to release his tax returns and to place his assets in a blind trust.