**Written by Doug Powers
During his Tuesday night address after the House passed the Biden/McConnell fiscal cliff deal, President Obama said, “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress about whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up.”
With that lecture about fiscal responsibility out of the way, Obama then headed back to Hawaii to resume what will end up being a $7 million vacation:
In a move that is rich in irony, President Obama agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending and then jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.
The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas’ Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.
The Air Force One pilot didn’t even have time to take off the lei he got during the first run to the islands. However, though the return trip to Hawaii comes with a big price tag, the wealthy are paying higher income taxes now so the extra expense will be easily covered.
In the president’s haste to return to Hawaii (according to most national threat assessment models, at midnight last night, the most dangerous place in the country to be standing was anywhere between the presidential podium at the White House and the stairway to Air Force One), he never did have a chance to sign the bill. How will Obama sign it now? Just in case, Autopen — aka Robobama — might be asked to warm up in the bullpen:
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.
The problem is that nobody seems to know where Autopen is. Some say it was last seen in Wisconsin signing fake doctors’ notes, but that was a long time ago.
Update: Autopen, do your stuff:
HONOLULU, Hawaii – 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 this 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.
**Written by Doug Powers
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