Sunday, March 30, 2014

White House rejects petition to make opening day a national holiday


A petition spearheaded by Anheuser-Busch to make MLB Opening Day a national holiday has been shot down by the White House.

The petition was initially created on whitehouse.gov on Feb. 24 and garnered more than the required 100,000 signatures for White House consideration.

Upon further review, principal deputy press secretary John Earnest, speaking on behalf of the White House, dubbed the pitch as "a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress." Well, I guess it's your move, Congress.

Here's the full response letter posted on whitehouse.gov:

For more than a century, American presidents have celebrated baseball's Opening Day -- from President William Taft's 1910 first pitch from the stands, to President Obama toeing the rubber at Nationals Park in 2010.

Opening Day signals a new beginning, not only for the 30 Major League Baseball teams playing for their shot at a title, but for the millions of fans who will follow the 162-game journey -- from “Play ball!” through the last out. That includes President Obama, who will be rooting for his White Sox to go all the way.

While we are sympathetic to your pitch to make Opening Day a national holiday, it's a little outside our strike zone: creating permanent federal holidays is traditionally the purview of Congress. So, it's up to the men and women on Capitol Hill to decide whether to swing at this pitch.

To celebrate Opening Day, we'll be honoring the 2013 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox, here at the White House on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, I'll spend that day visualizing what it would be like to welcome my 2014 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals to the White House. That is, after all, the best part of Opening Day: every team is tied for first place and poised to make a run at the Fall Classic.

Thanks again for your petition and your participation in We the People.


Although Opening Day may not be an official holiday nationwide, many baseball lovers treat it as much anyways. Residents from baseball-crazed towns such as St. Louis and Cincinnati often skip work and pull their children out of school for the day in order to catch their beloved team's first game of the season. Perhaps one day these folks will have to forgo the hassle of coming up with more legitimate excuses for missing work or school. Until then, the ball is in Congress' court, apparently.

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