A senior White House official said that the bill passed by Congress to prevent the country from falling into the “fiscal cliff” arrived at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. A copy of the document was sent to the president who was in Hawaii for his vacation. He ordered the bill to be signed in Washington D.C. using autopen.
Autopen is a mechanical device that can be used to sign a document by copying a signature.
Since taking office, Obama has used the autopen twice to sign legislation, where in both occasions he was out of the country. In 2005, then President George W. Bush declared the constitutionality of the use of the autopen, although he has never used the device to put his signature on a bill.
On late Tuesday, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed the measure through a 257-167 vote, a day after the Democratic-run Senate comprehensively approved it, 89-8.
The enactment of the “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012″ into law means that individuals earning $400,000 and households making at least $450,000 will see their tax rates rise. The law also delayed the decision on spending cuts for another two months.
The measure also creates permanent indexing of the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and granting an extension for the emergency unemployment compensation benefits and funding for jobless workers.