Hank Johnson: Imagine a World Without Balloons

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)extolled the benefits of the Federal Helium Program on the House floor today

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Today the House voted 394 to 1* to keep alive the Federal Helium Program, which was designed in 1925 to counter Germany’s early advantage in the blimp warcraft trade. While some politicians, including former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, have decried the program as a symbol of Washington largesse, Rep. Hank Johnson on the House floor extolled its benefits, asking us to “imagine…a world without balloons.” He also asked us to consider that helium helps comedians get that “high-pitched voice that we all hold near and dear to our hearts.” But his real target was Republicans in Congress, who allowed the helium debate to take up so much time on the floor. “I’d like to float a simple idea: Stop wasting out time,” Johnson concluded. “Let’s get to the business that is meaningful for Americans.”

This is not the first viral speech for Johnson. In recent years he has also asked the American public to consider giant vs. midget cagematches and Guam becoming so “overpopulated that it will tip over and capsize.”

*Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) was the only member to vote nay.

12 comments
notsacredh
notsacredh

Hank old bud, take it from someone that knows. If that gas you're inhaling doesn't make your voice high and squeaky, it's not helium, it's nitrous oxide. Maybe that's why you say all of those crazy things. Just sayin'.

WolfBard
WolfBard

I would be remiss if I didn't point out that one of the featured links to the right of this article is the video of TIME's best animated movies with the picture of the house from "Up!"

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

So as DQ illustrates, with links, this is a completely bs story just as the airlines are "spared" sequestration for so much more money. 

It's almost as if the media wants people to follow "this shiny object".  

One would have to be hard of smelling not to sniff this out. 

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

Theere is so much competition, but Hank Johnson remains in the hunt for the honorific "dumbest member of Congress."

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Cute story, what's the cost?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

They're probably voting yes because contrary to the nature of the above article joking about balloons, the Federal Helium Program has many applications for the private sector:

The most recent adaptation of the program was through the Helium Privatization Act of 1996, which redefined the primary functions as:

  • Operating and maintaining a helium storage reservoir and pipeline system
  • Providing crude helium gas by contract with private companies
  • Evaluating the Nation’s helium-bearing gas fields
  • Providing responsible access to Federal land for managed recovery and disposal of helium

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Paul,nnto 

Yep.  Helium as a resource is actually quite crucial to the private sector considering they've never stepped up to pick up the slack so the Government could ease on Helium production.  Since it's used so much in such a wide array of commodities and utilities, losing this program (which gives 40% of Helium to the market) would be quite bad.

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @Paul,nnto > Cute story

 It's nice to know that mockery doesn't take place in just the intertubes.

> what's the cost?

Two work training programs and a year's worth of school lunches.

(no, I don't really know if that's true)


Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@DonQuixotic @Paul,nnto  Forgive me --Shorter DQ "Alex got played" 

Hank Johnson is so silly...har har har. 

I do wonder where these kind of stories start. Actually I don't.