The Senate and the House, the Republicans and the Democrats actually got together to create a bi-partisan bill to deal with the problem. Why is this so important, other than you can get helium balloons for your children's parties and everyone could speak in funny voices? Because a lot of technology and our economy need to use helium. KSFY ran a story showing the impact on South Dakota and the nation as a whole.
On Thursday afternoon, the Senate voted by a large bipartisan majority, 97-2, to approve the extension of the helium program.
Linde's global head of Bulk, Helium and Rare Gases, Joe Horn, said the legislation will help stabilize helium markets and prevent disruptions in helium supply. "A final passage of this legislation is necessary or the Federal Helium Reserve, operated by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will be forced to cease operations by October 7, 2013," Horn said. Helium is critical to the manufacture of semiconductors, LCD screens, fiber optic cable and MRI machines. Linde refines helium that comes from the Federal Helium Reserve and provides it to high-tech manufacturers and government agencies.Only 2 Senators voted against the bill: Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions (I guess they are against anything the government does, period) and Marco Rubio abstained. HR. 527 makes sense. As one Democratic speaker rising in favor of the bill stated that it is to bad we couldn't do this on the budget bills or the farm bill. Kristi claims that they will get the Farm Bill done. Maybe she should threaten to suck up all the helium in the reserve and speak in a squeaky voice until they can pass bi-partisian farm bill.