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Ask Your Members to Cosponsor and Pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act

July 12, 2011

SUMMARY:
The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (S. 1094) will be marked up by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on July 13 (date moved from June 29).  We need to ensure that there is unanimous support.  If your Senator is listed below – great! – s/he is a cosponsor.  To date, we have 21 cosponsors for the Senate bill.  We also need more support in the House.  Currently there are 38 cosponsors for the House bill.  If your Members are not listed below, please contact him/her now and urge them to cosponsor this bill.  If your Members are listed below, please contact him/her now and thank them for their leadership on this issue.

BACKGROUND
Due to sunset language, this law will expire if it is not reauthorized by September 30, 2011.  On May 26, bipartisan bills were introduced in both chambers to extend the law for an additional three years at FY 2011 funding levels.  The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (S. 1094) is sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Michael Enzi (R-WY), ranking minority member of the Senate HELP Committee, along with Sens. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL).  Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (R-PA), co-chairs of the Bipartisan Caucus on Autism, introduced a companion bill (H.R. 2005).

 

21 Cosponsors of S. 1094 by date:                                      38 cosponsors of H.R. 2005

Sen Bennet, Michael F. [CO] - 6/28/2011                          Rep Bachus, Spencer [AL-6] - 6/2/2011
Sen Blumenthal, Richard [CT] - 6/28/2011                      Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] - 6/24/2011
Sen Boxer, Barbara [CA] - 6/9/2011                                   Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] - 6/22/2011
Sen Brown, Scott P. [MA] - 5/26/2011                                Rep Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [GA-2] - 6/22/2011
Sen Burr, Richard [NC] - 6/13/2011                                   Rep Burton, Dan [IN-5] - 6/22/2011
Sen Cardin, Benjamin L. [MD] - 6/28/2011                       Rep Butterfield, G. K. [NC-1] - 6/14/2011
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 6/13/2011                       Rep Christensen, Donna M. [VI] - 6/22/2011                        
Sen Coons, Christopher A. [DE] - 6/21/2011                   Rep Cleaver, Emanuel [MO-5] - 6/22/2011
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 5/26/2011                                 Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] - 6/14/2011
Sen Enzi, Michael B. [WY] - 5/26/2011                               Rep Doyle, Michael F. [PA-14] - 5/26/2011
Sen Franken, Al [MN] - 6/9/2011                                         Rep Edwards, Donna F. [MD-4] - 6/22/2011
Sen Gillibrand, Kirsten E. [NY] - 6/7/2011                         Rep Ellison, Keith [MN-5] - 6/22/2011
Sen Hagan, Kay [NC] - 6/28/2011                                      Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] - 6/14/2011
Sen Kerry, John F. [MA] - 6/7/2011                                     Rep Gerlach, Jim [PA-6] - 6/14/2011
Sen Kirk, Mark Steven [IL] - 6/27/2011                              Rep Hastings, Alcee L. [FL-23] - 6/22/2011
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [MN] - 6/27/2011                              Rep Himes, James A. [CT-4] - 6/24/2011
Sen Lautenberg, Frank R. [NJ] - 6/9/2011                       Rep Holt, Rush D. [NJ-12] - 6/14/2011
Sen Mikulski, Barbara A. [MD] - 6/23/2011                      Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] - 6/14/2011
Sen Pryor, Mark L. [AR] - 6/20/2011                                  Rep Langevin, James R. [RI-2] - 6/24/2011
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [NY] - 6/21/2011                    Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] - 6/14/2011
Sen Thune, John [SD] - 6/20/2011                                   Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep McGovern, James P. [MA-3] - 6/24/2011
                                                                                                Rep Meeks, Gregory W. [NY-6] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Murphy, Christopher S. [CT-5] - 6/14/2011
                                                                                                Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Payne, Donald M. [NJ-10] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Rangel, Charles B. [NY-15] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Richardson, Laura [CA-37] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Rivera, David [FL-25] - 6/14/2011
                                                                                                Rep Rothman, Steven R. [NJ-9] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Rush, Bobby L. [IL-1] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Sires, Albio [NJ-13] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Stark, Fortney Pete [CA-13] - 6/24/2011
                                                                                                Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15] - 6/22/2011
                                                                                                Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12] - 6/14/2011
                                                                                                Rep Waters, Maxine [CA-35] - 6/14/2011
    

 

TAKE ACTION:

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your Senators and Representative.
  • Ask to speak to the person working on health issues.
  • Identify yourself as a constituent
  • Urge him/her to pass the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act – Do not let it expire!
  • Ask him/her to cosponsor the bill
  • Send an email through AUCD’s Action Center (a sample letter is provided!)



TALKING POINTS:

  • There continues to be a staggering number of children affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders (1 in 110, according to CDC estimates)
  • According to a congressionally mandated report to Congress, the CAA has led to significant advances in our understanding and treatment of ASDs.
  • Reliable estimates of the prevalence and a clearer picture of both the opportunities and gaps that exist in ASD research and services are now available.
  • The addition of 4 new Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) programs and additional funding to existing programs resulting in

         * screening of over 46,000 infants and children and
         * training to over 155,000 participants in FY2010, leading to an increased workforce capacity to screen and treat those with ASDs;

  • If the law is allowed to expire, we will lose the new expansion efforts that have provided real services to children on the autism spectrum
  • CAA funding directly contributed to dramatic improvements in the numbers of children receiving screening and diagnostic assessments for ASDs through public awareness efforts and training of health professionals.
  • Numerous studies have shown that the earlier that children are treated the more likely they are to have positive outcomes including cost saving measures  
  • While the median age for ASD diagnosis (~4.5 years of age) appears to be on the decline, new CDC data indicates that there continues to be a critical need for improved access to early evaluation and diagnostic services.
  • While Federal agencies are actively identifying best practices and implementing programs to increase quality of life for people with ASD, significant gaps remain in access to evidence-based interventions, education, supported employment, family supports, and transition services across the lifespan.
  • Progress made under CAA in increasing the capacity of professionals and service systems to address these gaps must be sustained and expanded.
  • Training of a wide range of interdisciplinary professionals to provide services and supports is needed to translate the newest research into practice, and to provide accurate information to people with ASD and their families about scientifically supported interventions, with ongoing focus on strategic efforts aimed at underserved populations.


 

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