Obama signs ‘fiscal cliff’ bill using autopen

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.  

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The law, dubbed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, raises taxes on individuals making at least $400,000 and on married individuals filing together at $450,000 and higher. It also extends unemployment benefits for more than 2 million Americans while postponing the sequester for two months. 

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. 

“A simple premise of my campaign for president was to change the tax code that was too skewed toward the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class Americans. Tonight, we’ve done that,” Obama said.