A release from Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ):
Congressmen Chris Smith and Mike Doyle, the co-chairmen of the congressional caucus aimed at helping autistic individuals, today introduced a package of bills designed to reauthorize the nation’s landmark program for autism surveillance, research, education, awareness and intervention; to authorize new service programs; and to establish a national autism initiative.
“These bills offer a comprehensive approach to tackling this epidemic,” said Smith, whose own state of New Jersey is believed to have the highest rate of autism in the country. “We must remain committed in all areas, including research, federal policy and patient services so that all families affected by an ASD or other developmental disability can improve their lives with the latest treatments and have hope for a better future.”
Smith and Doyle, co-chairs of the bipartisan Coalition on Autism Research and Education (CARE), introduced H.R. 2005, “The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act,” HR 2006, “The National Autism Spectrum Disorders Initiative Act,” and H.R. 2007, “The Autism Spectrum Disorders Services Act.”
“I’m pleased to join my Autism Caucus co-chair Congressman Smith and our colleagues in the Senate introducing legislation today to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act and dramatically increase services for both children and adults with autism,” Doyle said. “The provisions that we passed nearly five years ago have made big differences in the lives of thousands of autistic Americans and their families. The Combating Autism Act’s research on the federal level has spurred innovation and growth in the private sector, giving individuals the opportunity to take greater advantage of better services throughout our communities as we strive to understand autism.”