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.