Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

Senate Finds a Way Off the (Helium) Cliff

Setting the “hot air” jokes aside, when senators voted to pass bipartisan legislation to avert a helium crisis Thursday, they used the helium revenue to pay for an assortment of other priorities.

The bill, which passed overwhelmingly 97-2, was quite similar to earlier legislation drafted by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, including provisions to use helium money for payments to rural communities for federal lands and remediate abandoned oil wells.

WGDB previously outlined the provisions in the earlier draft, which include funding for activities favored by Energy Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and his ranking member, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski.

“This legislation establishes a commonsense approach to managing the federal reserve as it is depleted, ensures that taxpayers receive a fair return, and puts us on a path towards ending the federal government’s involvement in this sector,” Murkowski said in a statement.

The bill would wind down government involvement in the helium market over the next decade.

The authorization for the federal helium reserve to operate is set to expire in early October, lending urgency to the effort. That’s the point made by freshman Sen. Edward J. Markey in his own statement, tying into the much larger debates over fiscal 2014 spending and the debt limit.

The Massachusetts Democrat was a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee before his election to the Senate earlier this year.

“This legislation is proof that we can work together to keep important government services up and running, not shut them down over ideological battles,” Markey said. “As the co-author of this bill in the House, I know this bill can pass and get signed into law, which is more than we can say for most bills these days. Hospitals and technology manufacturers will still get the helium they need, and this bill will provide important transparency for the pricing of this vital resource.”

The action came as work on another Energy and Natural Resources Committee effort, a bipartisan energy efficiency bill championed by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Rob Portman of Ohio saw little chance of any movement amid a dispute over amendments.

  • Liberty: Coercion’s Absence

    While altruistic cooperation may appeal to our primitive instincts, a closer look reveals that cooperation is an inferior way to advance our vast, distributed, modern civilization.

  • Anonymous

    There is obviously a lot to realize about this. I believe you made various nice points in features also.

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting topic, thanks for putting up. “Not by age but by capacity is wisdom acquired.” by Titus Maccius Plautus.

  • Anonymous

    Outstanding post, I conceive blog owners should learn a lot from this website its really user friendly.

  • Anonymous

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 certain. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks

  • Anonymous

    There may be noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made sure nice factors in features also.

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I’ve understand your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

  • Anonymous

    I truly appreciate this post. I?¦ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again

  • Anonymous

    F*ckin’ remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to see your post. Thanks so much and i am taking a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • Anonymous

    Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and everything. But think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could certainly be one of the very best in its field. Amazing blog!

  • Anonymous

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your blog. You have some really great articles and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

  • Anonymous

    great post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You must continue your writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  • Anonymous

    What’s Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It positively useful and it has aided me out loads. I hope to contribute & assist other customers like its aided me. Good job.

  • Anonymous

    I am not rattling superb with English but I get hold this real leisurely to translate.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this blog. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a perfect website.

  • federated national insurance company

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  • hanovers insurance

    Make sure you described this totally, because I wish to get more details.

  • esurance online quote

    Its good idea to share such info with us. We need more such useful information.

  • state farm auto insurance quote

    Use our free quotes to get discounts on auto or home insurance. Get quotes by zip code and save up to 505 annually.

  • amica insurance company

    Compare quotes to save more on auto and home insurance here.

  • amax san antonio

    It takes only few minutes to get quotes and save on home or auto insurance policies.

  • federated national insurance

    Save more with us and online auto insurance comparison.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there.

  • omega insurance company

    Free quotes online by zip code! Get cheap rate on auto policy, save up to 520 dollars per year.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t normally comment but I gotta admit appreciate it for the post on this special one : D.

  • Anonymous

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Anonymous

    Some genuinely nice stuff on this web site, I love it.

  • Anonymous

    I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...