Feds force Obama to respond to Christmas Eve petition

Lisa A/Shutterstock.com

Update: Obama on Friday, Dec. 21, issued an executive order declaring Christmas Eve 2012 a federal holiday. See our story here. 

A petition to give federal employees Christmas Eve off has passed the threshold that requires a response from the White House.

The petition on the We the People website received its 25,000th signature Monday morning, reaching the cutoff necessary to compel a response.

The petition asks the president to give federal employees an extra day off on Dec. 24, which falls on a Monday, thereby creating a four-day weekend. The last two times Christmas fell on a Tuesday -- in 2001 and 2007 -- President George W. Bush gave federal employees Christmas Eve off.

At least some federal employees stand in opposition to the petition, saying the day off is not something workers should ask for.  

“This is an embarrassment,” said one Government Executive reader posting under the name Buf2falo. “The only way this can happen is as a gift. The petition makes it less likely and tarnishes all federal workers by association.”

President Obama may have a more pressing petition to respond to first, with more than 144,000 people signing a request to “immediately address the issue of gun control” in the aftermath of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Friday. That marks an all-time record for signatures on the White House’s petition website. 

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.