A record number of Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have signed a letter urging leaders of the House Appropriations Committee to increase the federal investment in autism research, training and services. Co-led by the Chairs of the Congressional Autism Caucus, Congressmen Chris Smith (NJ-4) and Mike Doyle (PA-18), the letter to leaders of the House Appropriations Committee garnered a total of 90 signatures. This is the largest number of House Members to sign an autism-focused appropriations letter, which is circulated annually and represents a bipartisan and diverse coalition of members calling for an urgent and record increase in the federal investment related to autism.
“We are so grateful to these 90 House Members, including the steadfast leaders of the Autism Caucus, Representatives Doyle and Smith, who have heard from their constituents loud and clear that an urgent, increased and sustained commitment to autism research and services is absolutely imperative. This show of support demonstrates the momentum that has been building amongst Members of Congress to significantly enhance the federal commitment to addressing challenges faced by the autism community,” said Senior Vice President of Advocacy Stuart Spielman.
Federal investments in autism research have contributed to a better understanding of the biology of autism, the number of individuals across the country with an ASD diagnosis and the types of interventions and supports that benefit the autism community. With this increased understanding has also come the knowledge that so much more needs to be done to address the significant challenges that still exist for individuals across the autism spectrum and throughout the lifespan. Autism Speaks looks forward to working with the leaders of the Autism Caucus, the Members who signed this letter and the Appropriations Committee to build on the progress that has been made and make the needed investments.
The full text of the House letter and a list of the signers can be read here. The House Appropriations Committee will consider the FY22 appropriations bills in the coming months, and Autism Speaks will continue to advocate for increased investments as the process unfolds.