September 19, 2013 / 7:03 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. Senate approves measure to avoid "helium cliff"

WASHINGTON, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday passed by a 97-2 margin a measure that would prevent a possible shutdown of the U.S. helium reserve program in early October.

Helium is a critical product in the aerospace and defense industries and also used in the manufacture of smart phones and medical equipment, among other things.

The White House on Thursday said it supported the Senate amendment to an earlier House of Representatives bill to keep the reserve operational.

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