Thanks to your grassroots advocacy efforts and the work of the national board of directors and staff of the Autism Society, this evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2005)!
The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) extends the life of the Combating Autism Act, set to expire September 30, which authorizes $693 million in funding for three additional fiscal years. This funding supports the work of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, research initiatives of the NIH and CDC, and the LEND program, which provides training for healthcare professionals to treat a variety of developmental disabilities.
The Autism Society would like to thank Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) for their support as sponsors of the House bill, Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) for their support as sponsors of the Senate bill, and all co-sponsors in both chambers. Additionally, the Autism Society would like to thank House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA) for their role in helping to bring the vote to the House as well as to members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate. With H.R. 2005 passed in the House, the Senate will likely take up the bill for a vote within the next week.
According to Representative Smith on the House floor late this afternoon, “Autism has become an international pandemic.”
Lastly, the Autism Society would like to thank you for reaching out to your Representatives to encourage them to support the reauthorization. This was truly a collaborative effort among many individuals and families living with autism, as well as many of the service-related autism organizations we are proud to call our partners.
Autism Society Chairman
Autism Society President and COO