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Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Chair, I offer this amendment to ensure that any excess funds as a result of this bipartisan bill are used to reduce the annual Federal budget deficit.

I am pleased that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle have proposed a commonsense bill that speaks to the heart of the free-market system.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates, as a result of this bill, $340 million will be returned to the Federal Government. This amendment ensures that every penny of savings will go toward deficit reduction, furthering the goal of this House to create jobs and encourage economic growth.

This body has made significant strides in putting our country back on a path to fiscal prosperity. Passing a budget that will seek to balance in 10 years is no small achievement, but there is still more that we can do. This bill is just one example of savings that we can achieve by allowing innovation and private industry to do what it does best.

The underlying bill completes the privatization of the Federal Helium Reserve in a competitive market fashion, respecting hard-earned taxpayer dollars while ensuring the stability of the helium market. As we have seen in the current helium market, innovation thrives when government gets out of the way of private industry.

By applying free-market principles, this bill will spur cutting-edge research, development, and production of helium while bringing transparency and responsibility to how taxpayers' dollars are spent.

In my home State of Georgia, this legislation draws broad support from job creators such GE Energy, IBM, Kodak, Philips, Siemens, and Texas Instruments.

I thank the gentleman from Washington and the gentleman from Massachusetts for their leadership on this issue. This legislation is a perfect example of how good policy knows no party line.

With that, I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

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Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. This is a commonsense amendment that will only enhance the benefits achieved by the underlying bill and by ensuring we privatize deficit reduction and effectively utilize the savings the bill creates.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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