The U.S. House of Representatives is looking at the problem of stolen copper and other metals.

As thefts of copper-containing pipes, wires and HVAC compressors hit near-epidemic proportions nationwide, a pair of bipartisan lawmakers have written legislation to tackle the problem.

Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) have introduced a bill that would require scrap dealers to keep track of transactions.

After the price of copper and other metals hit record highs in the last few years, the number of reports of copper thefts from air-conditioning compressors, power lines, plumbing and wires have shot up dramatically. In some cases, thieves are willing to risk death to get at anything containing the suddenly precious metals.

The bill would set minimum requirements for junkyard owners and scrap dealers to compile information on who is selling metals. Many states are considering or have already passed similar legislation. The federal bill would not pre-empt state statutes.

It is unclear if there is enough time left on the legislative calendar to get the bill passed into law. Congress is currently on its summer recess.