Politics

Will White House use ‘autopen’ again to sign fiscal cliff bill?

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The fiscal cliff bill is in Washington, but the president has flown off to Hawaii to finish his vacation. So how will he sign the must-pass, last-minute, no-time-to-spare bill?

President Barack Obama is roughly 4,700 miles from the document in D.C. His staff could fly the bill by aircraft to his home-away-from-home, or he could use his “autopen” to conduct a long-distance bill-signing.

He’s done it before in 2011, when the machine signed bills into law while the president was in France and Indonesia.

The Constitution requires him to sign the bill, but does not say he has to do it in person with his own hand.

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department says the machine-operated John Hancock is constitutionally kosher, but no court has rubber-stamped their judgement.

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