The bill to avert the “fiscal cliff” arrived at the White House late this afternoon and it was immediately processed, according to a senior White House official. A copy was delivered to the president in Hawaii for review. He then directed the bill to be signed by autopen back in Washington, D.C.
The Bush administration deemed in 2005 that the use of the autopen is constitutional, although President George W. Bush never used the mechanical device to replicate his signature on a bill.
The office of legal counsel found at the time that Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution allows the president to use the autopen to sign legislation, stating “the President need not personally perform the physical act of affixing his signature to a bill to sign it.”
Obama has used the autopen twice in the past to sign legislation, both times while he was overseas.
Use of the autopen has been controversial. Conservative groups alleged last summer that Obama used an autopen to sign condolence letters to the families of Navy SEALs killed in a Chinook crash in Afghanistan – a charge the White House disputed flatly as false.
Read/learn more at Yahoo News.
Learn more about the autopen at Wikipedia.