<strong>Party On: </strong>Legislation passed last week allows the Federal Helium Reserve to continue selling the stockpiled gas. Above, Jonathan Trappe launches his 370-balloon craft from Caribou, Maine, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 12.
With the government on the brink of a shutdown, Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to compromise on helium. Legislation passed late last week will keep the gas used in party balloons flowing from a national reserve.
The helium bill's passage shows that compromise is still possible in the fractious political climate. But finding agreement over this inert gas was tough. The new law came after more than a year of intensive lobbying by some of America's largest businesses and academic institutions.
The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the nation's iconic hiking routes. It stretches more than 2,600 miles between Mexico and Canada and this year a record number of people are hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. In fact, as many as 500 are expected to finish the entire trek. From member station KPLU in Seattle, Bellamy Pailthorp reports on how the experience is changing as more people do it.
On All Tech Considered, we care how modern gadgets affect us as humans. So, we want to hear from you about your relationship with technology, specifically your mobile phone. So tell us this, first: when did you realize your cellphone was indispensable?
KRISTINA ANDREWS: A moment where I couldn't live without my phone. It was, like, something was going on with the network or something and my phone wasn't working. I'm like what is happening? I literally almost died.
And on Capitol Hill, words of anger and frustration today over the increasing likelihood of a government shutdown. This morning in the House, members of both parties took to the floor and pointed fingers.
REPRESENTATIVE EARL BLUMENAUER: If you're serious about working together to solve problems, why don't you work together to solve problems?
REPRESENTATIVE TED POE: Where oh where has the Senate gone? Where oh where can they be? With time so short and issues so long, where oh where has the Senate gone?
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:56 pm
Not even an hour after the House voted in favor of a bill that would avert a shutdown of the federal government, but also delay a key part of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, the Senate rejected it with a vote of 54-46.
With less than an hour before the government runs out of authority to spend money, the ball is now back in the court of Speaker John Boehner in the House.
U.S. House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (center) and colleagues gather before a Sunday vote on Capitol Hill. The House passed two new provisions to a federal spending bill to delay Obamacare for a year and to repeal the medical device tax.