Feature

Today in history: Obama signs a bill — without actually signing it

Hello, autopen

May 28, 1937: President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington, allowing the first vehicles to cross the new Golden Gate Bridge.

May 28, 2003: President George W. Bush signed a law cutting tax rates on capital gains and dividends. Supporters of the measure said it would boost the economy and create jobs; opponents said it would increase the federal deficit.

May 28, 2011: President Barack Obama became the first president to sign a bill without actually signing it. From Europe, he ordered that an autopen be used to extend the Patriot Act through 2015 (usually bills are flown to the president if he is away from the White House). Obama's extension of President George W. Bush's Patriot Act gave the federal government ongoing powers on roving wiretaps, surveillance of suspicious individuals, and more.

Quote of the day

"As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it." -Martin Van Buren

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