President Autopen signs #FiscalCliff bill, continues on with Hawaii vacation

Posted by: ST on January 3, 2013 at 10:31 am

Via The Hill (hat tip):

President Obama on Wednesday signed legislation that raises taxes on the wealthiest Americans and avoids the so-called “fiscal cliff,” which threatened to send the economy into decline.

The White House said late Wednesday that Obama reviewed a copy of the bill in Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family. The president instructed that the legislation — passed by the House and Senate earlier this week — be signed by autopen, a device that emulates Obama’s signature.


Before leaving for Hawaii on Wednesday to rejoin his family, who vacationed there over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, Obama said the passage of the law fulfilled a campaign promise to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Fox News explains more about the autopen:

The autopen is a mechanical device that copies the president’s signature. According to the White House Executive Clerk’s Office, the bill was sent to Obama in PDF form Wednesday afternoon, and was signed via autopen once Obama approved it.

Obama is the first president to sign bills electronically, and has signed two previous pieces of legislation using the technology.

The president arrived in Honolulu before 5 a.m. local time Wednesday and immediately rejoined his family in their rented beachside vacation home in Kailua, a picturesque Honolulu suburb on the east side of Oahu. Kailua Beach is a popular place for wind sports and paddle surfing.

Obama and his family had spent several days, including Christmas Day, at the secluded compound before he returned to Washington on Dec. 26 for the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Well, he made passage of the fiscal cliff bill sound “urgent” – but apparently him sitting down to sign it wasn’t as urgent as returning to the beautiful sands of Hawaii.

Quite frankly, the “autopen” – which has been used a total of three times under this President, including on this piece of legislation – scares the hell out of me, almost as much as the “nuclear button” does. Who has access to it? How is it secured? Is it even Constitutional? documented some serious and not so serious questions and commentary about Obama’s use of the autopen, which included intriguing background info from respected CBS journalist Mark Knoller. On the humorous side, there is now a Twitter account with the @The_Autopen handle. That said, Derek A. Hunter had probably what was and is the best tweet on the controversy:

And don’t forget paddle surfing.

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7 Responses to “President Autopen signs #FiscalCliff bill, continues on with Hawaii vacation”


  1. Carlos says:

    The bill increases the tax rate of only the top one or two percent of American taxpayers, at least in theory.

    Yet I, with my measly $50,000 annual (hardly in the top two percent) I can expect to pay at least 20% more in taxes this coming year, with a bigger expected increase next year for the same income.

    Basically, then, what I see is that with few exceptions (the ones who voted against the “compromise”) nearly every taxpayer in the country was handed a bill of goods by an overwhelmingly stinking set of pig poops that we elected to help and protect us from a tyranical government.

    How did that work out for ya, Obama worshippers?

  2. John Bibb says:

    Now that Comrade Obama has the Autopen down pat–all He needs now is 2 rubber stamps for “signing” any House or Senate bills!
    Cuba build a really nice legislature building over 50 years ago. It has been shut since Castro took over. No need for Congress Critters any more with The Good Comrade implementing His rule with Executive Orders. No need for Senate approval of CZARS.
    Possibly the Capitol Building could be remodeled into some high end condos for our Gubmint and Political Betters.
    John Bibb

  3. Drew the Infidel says:

    When the going gets tough, the tough go. . .golfing?

  4. Brontefan says:

    Oh, but.. before he left for Hawaii, he also signed an Exec Order giving amnesty to more illegals. He has been usurping his power by enacting LAW, which the president has no Constitutional right to do.

  5. Brontefan says:

    Sorry! No editing appeared. He is usurping Congressional powers.

  6. Kate says:

    Apropos for a president on auto-pilot.

  7. Polly says:

    I remember my dad telling me that when Johnson was President he gave the people a ‘tax cut.’ His paycheck cleared $80. a week. After the tax cut his paycheck was $78. a week. Democrats have always been occupational liars and they are very good at it.