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White House To Secessionists: Our States Remain United

Ryan Loyd
Texas Public Radio

The White house has formally responded to a petition requesting that Texas secede from the Union. Although the petition gained signatures quickly, there will be no division initiatives supported the White House anytime soon.

Shortly after the November General Election, an official White House petition was formed by citizens asking for Texas' secession. The petition gained signatures quickly – those that receive 25 thousand signatures in 30 days gain response.

Secession is sometimes joked about by lawmakers. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus did so during the opening of the legislature last week while talking on the subject of the economy.

“Our economy is so vast and diverse, that if Texas were its own country… And y’all don’t worry that isn’t something we’re going to do this session… [laughter] But if it were, we’d have the 14th largest economy in the world.” – Speaker Joe Straus; January 8th 2013.

The official White House response addresses nine petitions for eight states - mostly southern - including Louisiana, Florida, and Alabama. Texas had the largest number with more than 125,000 digital signatures the others had about 30,000 each.  

So what was the response?

Our states remain united according to Jon Carson, the White House’s Director of the Office of Public Engagement. Carson said democracy can be noisy and controversial with many views and healthy debate; but it shouldn’t tear us apart.

The White House did include one last petition in the response “Deport Everyone That Signed a Petition to Withdraw Their State from the United States Of America.” That petition received 30,000 signatures as well.

So what would Texas be like if it did (somehow) secede?

John Burnett, who is based out of Austin, tackled this very idea in March of last year in a special NPR story entitled, "Lone Star State Of Mind: Could Texas Go It Alone?"

Burnett begins from the premise that Texas (hypothetically) has already seceded.