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President Barack Obama must still sign 'fiscal cliff' legislation

3:47 PM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
President Obama signs the health care bill(Photo: Charles Dharapak, AP)
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One formality remains: President Obama must actually sign the "fiscal cliff" bill.

While the paperwork could be flown to Hawaii -- where Obama is resuming his vacation -- there is another option available for the president: The autopen.

The robotic device that replicates the president's signature has been used by Obama twice, both times when he was overseas.

That process has its critics.

One of them, Mark Knoller of CBS News, tweets: "The Constitution says a president must sign a bill into law and makes no mention of using a mechanical device instead."

Knoller also says: "If the president can authorize the autopen to sign a bill for him, could he authorize an aide to do the same?"

It normally takes a while for bills to reach the president, and the House only passed the fiscal cliff bill late Tuesday night.

No word yet from the White House on how this signing will be handled.

USA Today

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