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Petition for Texas to secede from US reaches threshold for White House response

An online petition that calls for the State of Texas to withdraw from the U.S. and create its own government on Monday reached the required signature threshold to receive an official response from The White House.

The petition on WhiteHouse.gov asks the Obama administration to "peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own new government." The petition had surpassed 34,000 signatures as of Monday evening. It was created by a person self-identified only as "Micah H." from Arlington, Texas.


The petition cites the nation's economic woes as an issue and says that the condition of Texas' budget and economy make it "practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union."

Online petitions on WhiteHouse.gov that get sufficient support are reviewed by White House staff and "sent to the appropriate policy experts." To be searchable on WhiteHouse.gov in the first place, petitions currently need to get 150 signatures within 30 days. To get an official response, petitions need 25,000 signatures within 30 days.

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Similar petitions from other states have also been filed including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee. However, unlike the petition from Texas, none of these states had reached the 25,000-signature threshold to get an official White House response as of Monday evening.

According to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, a 1866 proclamation signed by then-President Andrew Johnson clearly spelled out that no state had the right to leave the union:

"...It is the manifest determination of the American people that no State, of its own will, has a right or power to go out of or separate itself from, or be separated from the American Union; and that, therefore, each State ought to remain and constitute an integral part of the United States..."

The flurry of petitions are likely just the consequence of voters unhappy with last week's presidential election results. University of Texas at Austin Assistant Professor Jason Casellas told NBC News that's likely the case in Texas, where 57 percent of the state population's vote went for Republican Mitt Romney.

Catherine Frazier, press secretary for Texas Gov. Rick Perry, told NBC News Monday that the governor "believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it."

"But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government," Frazier said in a statement. "Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper."

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