The Senate sent President Barack Obama a bill Monday night to extend federal autism programs after Sen. Bob Menendez reached an agreement with a Republican senator who had been blocking the measure.
The passage of a three-year extension of the 2006 Combating Autism Act authorizes $231 million in funding each year for research, education and services. Without an extension, Menendez, D-N.J., said there would have been no guarantee that autism research funded by the National Institutes of Health would have continued.
Menendez said he had been trying since last week to address concerns raised by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who blocked passage of a bill that had cleared the Republican-led House unanimously.
In the final deal, Menendez and Coburn agreed to jointly request a Government Accountability Office report on whether there was any redundancy in federal spending on autism.
VIDEO UPDATE 9/27: