In less than six weeks, the Obama Administration has launched its “We The People” petition website, adjusted its criteria for ‘successful’ petitions, and issued responses to several petition requests. Sounds pretty good to me. But let’s dig a little bit and see if there’s much to crow about…yet.
The following petitions have received official administration responses (list accurate as of November 3). Responses are linked and summarized below:
- Forgive Student Loan Debt to Stimulate the Economy and Usher in a New Era of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Prosperity
Administration announces several measures to reduce the burden of student loan repayment.
- Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol (multiple petitions)
Will research medicinal applications of marijuana, but legalization is not happening.
- Edit the Pledge of Allegiance to Remove the Phrase “Under God” (multiple petitions)
Maintaining the separation of church and state is not in conflict with having a role for religion in the public square.
Administration supports the repeal, and the bill recently introduced to do so. Also has determined part of the Act to be unconstitutional.
Mention of the America Invents Act, which was recently signed into law. It doesn’t bar software patents, but attempts to reform the patent system to better address concerns about overbroad patents.
- Support the FairTax legislation to grow our economy and benefit all Americans – Americans For Fair Taxation
The administration considers the proposed legislation would make the tax system more regressive and less fair.
And for those petitions that don’t fit the purview of the Executive Branch, this is the kind of response you can expect.
It’s worth checking in on We The People every once in a while, as the novelty is about to wear off, and the recent increase in the signature requirements may drive down the number of successful petitions.