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President Obama Signs Fiscal Cliff Bill Via Autopen

The White House(HONOLULU) -- President Obama has signed the “fiscal cliff” legislation into law via autopen from Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family.

The bill to avert the fiscal cliff arrived at the White House late Wednesday 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.

The president, who arrived back in Hawaii early Wednesday morning to continue his family vacation, spent the afternoon golfing with friends at the Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay.

Obama is slated to remain in Hawaii through Saturday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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