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Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and other Federal Policy Updates

Good News!

The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, S. 1094  and H. 2005 are moving forward. Two weeks ago the Senate bill was approved by the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee; North Carolina Senators Burr and Hagan both attended the meeting. And today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that the House Combating Autism Reauthorization Act H. 2005 will move to the House floor as is. This is great news and we appreciate everyone’s advocacy to get this far! The work is not over yet: the 2006 Combating Autism Act sunsets on September 30th and it needs to be reauthorized in the next 14 days.

You can help ensure its passage:

1) Call or email your own Congressional House Representative and ask that they support the House version of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, H 2005. If you live in NC District 1 or NC District 8, Representatives G.K. Butterfield and Larry Kissell, have already signed on as co-sponsors – please thank them. We need the rest of the North Carolina Congressional Representatives to vote YES on this bill. In particular, Rep. Sue Myrick, NC District 9 and Representative Heath Schuler, NC District 11 were not in office in 2006 when the first bill was authorized. It’s crucial that they hear from people in their districts.

Don’t know who represents you in Congress? See Congressional Representatives  for more information.

Talking points for your message:

• You are a constituent.

• You support the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, House bill 2005.

• You want them to vote in favor of the bill when it comes to the House floor (If they are already a co-sponsor, thank them for their support.)

• If you are a family member or self advocate, consider sharing a short version of your story of living with autism spectrum disorder and how this act can help you and others.

2) Share this information with your friends, family and neighbors and ask them to contact their Congresspersons as well.


Representative Co-Sponsor of H 2005 Supported 2006 Act District
Rep. G. K. Butterfield, Jr. YES (June 14) Cosponsor 1
Renee L. Ellmers
No * 2
Walter B. Jones, Jr
No Yes 3
David Price
No Cosponsor 4
Virginia Foxx
No Yes 5
Howard Coble
No Yes 6
Mike McIntyre
No Cosponsor 7
Rep. Larry Kissell YES (July 29) Yes 8
Sue Myrick
No Yes 9
Patrick McHenry
No Yes 10
Heath Schuler
No * 11
Mel Watt
No Yes 12
Brad Miller
No Cosponsor 13

(* Reps Ellmers and Schuler were not in office in 2006)


The Combating Autism Act, originally enacted in 2006, allows for significant federal appropriations, including expanding research and coordination at the National Institutes of Health, increasing awareness and surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and expanding the interdisciplinary training of health professionals to identify and support children with ASD and their families. The bill is due to expire on September 30, which means an immediate hard stop of federal funding if action is not taken. In the years since it was enacted its provide 1 billion in funding for research on autism; during that time we have seen significant advances in understanding autism, but unfortunately have also seen a rise in prevalence, now estimated by the CDC at 1 in 110 children, the incidence in NC is even higher.


Federal Advisory Panel Calls on the Obama Administration to Limit Seclusion and Restraint

Disability Scoop reported September 8th that Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) called on Federal officials to establish regulations, increase data collection and promote alternatives to seclusion and restraint in schools and other settings. You can read the full story here.


The White House Wants Your Ideas for Topics to Be Discussed During Monthly Disability Calls

Each month, White House staff who work on disability-related policies host a public, live-captioned conference call to keep the public better informed about important developments on many different disability issues. These calls also connect you to leaders in the federal government who work on these issues. Over the past several months, monthly conference calls have featured discussions on accessibility, employment, education, technology, emergency preparedness, transportation, healthcare and the federal budget.

The White House is now offering the opportunity for you to suggest topics you’d like discussed during these calls. Send in your ideas about subjects for discussion, as well as the federal officials you’d like to hear from on these subjects, by visiting this page.

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