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Public Statements

Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Chair, I rise in support of this important legislation which will ensure U.S. manufacturers of medical devices, computer chips, and balloons continue to have reliable access to helium. Helium is a critical element to the manufacturing and operation of these innovative and competitive industries and their products.

The Federal Helium Reserve is scheduled to close this year. If that should happen, a global helium shortage would disrupt business in these industries and could cause the loss of thousands of American jobs.

In my home state of Minnesota, a large balloon company continues to manufacture their products here in the United States. They depend on reliable access to helium not only to stay in business, but also to continue research and development, innovative engineering, manufacturing, and quality control for their balloon products.

But a helium shortage would negatively impact more than just balloon manufacturing. It would also harm the high tech and medical device communities as well. Approximately 250,000 Americans are employed in the manufacturing of computer chips using helium. These chips are used in GPS, smart phones, and MRI machines. Helium is also used to cool the magnets in MRI machines.

We must pass this legislation to prevent major shocks to these important industries. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act soon to ensure critical access to helium for the medical device, IT, and balloon industries and to protect these American jobs.


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