The House passed similar legislation this spring, but Sens. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTexas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' Moore endorsements disappear from campaign website MORE (R-Texas) and Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsFederal judge rules Trump defunding sanctuary cities 'unconstitutional on its face' FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Alabama election has GOP racing against the clock MORE (R-Ala.) complained that the Senate version spends most of the $500 million in revenue that would be generated rather than paying down the deficit.

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“We get it in our heads around here that just because we raise revenue and spending that it doesn’t have implications for our Treasury,” Sessions said. “The idea that you can just do that is dangerous because it creates more taxing and more spending.”

The Senate technically passed H.R. 527, the Responsible Helium Administration and Stewardship Act, but added S. 1513 as an amendment, so the measure will head back to the House. Cruz and Sessions were the only senators who voted against the bill.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress faces growing health care crisis in Puerto Rico Photos of the Week: Nov. 13-17 Senate panel approves GOP tax plan MORE (D-Ore.) said the bill would reduce the deficit by more than $50 million. He also said another difference between the House and Senate bills is that the Senate version permanently gets the federal government out of the helium business.

Ranking member Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate bill would cut EPA funding by 0M GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill Collins: Pass bipartisan ObamaCare bills before mandate repeal MORE (R-Alaska) said it was critical that the House and Senate work out their difference before Oct. 1, because under current law the government is no longer supposed to sell helium on that day.

“We need to move to pass this bill but also to reconcile the remaining issues we have with the House by Oct. 1,” Murkowski said. “If we want to prevent a shortage of helium gas in this country we’re going to have to do it and do it now.”

She pointed out that helium is used by high-tech and manufacturing industries, not just for "party balloons."

The federal government first got involved in selling helium during World War I, selling it below market value. But lawmakers have said that because the government has always sold helium at such low levels there has been no incentive for the private sector to get involved — this legislation aims to change that.