Despite being multiple time zones away from Washington at a South Asian summit, President Obama has signed legislation to keep the U.S. government operational through December 16.

The president was be able to accomplish that feat by relying a device called an "autopen," or a mechanized re-creation of his actual signature, to extend government funding.

The technique allows a bill to become law officially when the president is unable to receive it in a timely fashion.

Congress is still battling over budgetary issues, so the "continuing resolution" the president signed is just a temporary fix. Still, it's a timely one, so Mr. Obama gave the go-ahead from Bali, Indonesia.

This was the president's second use of the autopen. In May The president signed off on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act while in France. There wasn't enough time to fly the bill to him in person before the law was to sunset.

There were concerns over the legality of such an approach, but the White House pointed to a 2005 memo by the White House office of Legal Counsel saying the technique was deemed constitutional.