Senate sends helium bill to the White House

The bill aims to give companies time to develop their own helium sources instead of relying on government supplies. It requires the government to auction off its helium supplies for the next few years, a change meant to create some price inflation.

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The House accepted the Senate bill in a 367-0 vote Wednesday.

Reid said the legislation was important for technology companies that rely on helium to build chip and MRI medical machines.

The federal government began selling helium during World War I, but lawmakers have said the government should get out of the business let the private sector take over. The government stands to make $1.3 billion from selling off the helium reserves.

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