Today, Congressman Sires joined as a cosponsor of H.R. 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 211 to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act (CAA) for an additional three years. Originally, enacted by Congress in 2006, the CAA has expanded and enhanced: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) surveillance and epidemiological research for autism and other developmental disabilities; the National Institute of Health's (NIH) activities with respect to research on autism spectrum disorders; and the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. Additionally, the CAA directed both CDC and NIH to investigate possible environmental causes of autism and authorized a robust autism education, early detection, and intervention program at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
"Since the CAA has become law, significant advancements have been achieved in the effort to fight autism, as well as improve the lives of individuals and families affected by the disorder," stated Congressman Sires. "To name just a few accomplishments of the CAA, the law has helped to improve the methods for autism screening; identified several autism susceptibility genes; developed promising interventions for children with autism; and expanded new treatments for medical conditions commonly associated with autism."
Specifically, H.R. 2005, originally introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), would reauthorize the CAA for an additional three years. The bill would allow for the continued success of the CAA by authorizing funding at CDC, HRSA, and NIH through FY 2014. Specifically, $22 million would be provided for surveillance; $48 million for education, early detection, and intervention; and $161 million for NIH research and operation of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. H.R. 2005 is currently pending before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.