Tell Your Senator to Vote NO on S. 1094, the Combating Autism Act Re-Authorization Act

As Congress continues its budget negotiations, it seems that almost every disability program is at risk of cuts or program changes – every program, that is, except for the autism research agenda. Right on the heels of a new report from the federal Inter-Agency Autism Coordinating Committee finding that only 3% of autism research funding is going to improving services for individuals and families and less than 1% is going to adult needs, Congress is set to extend the combating Autism Act with no program changes for three more years. No one doubts the importance of autism research – but at a time of cuts in services to Medicaid, Housing Vouchers and countless other critical disability programs, should disability services really be that low a priority?

Advocates wishing to force through this three-year extension of the status quo say that failing to do so will result in the expiration of needed programs – but we know this to be a false choice. Congress can extend valuable CAA programs while addressing the bias against services in the autism research agenda or authorize a shorter term extension to keep this issue on the agenda. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) is scheduled to mark up S. 1094, the Combating Autism Act Re-Authorization Act, next week on July 20th. It is time to tell Congress that we demand better than the status quo. Funding mouse models and gene studies at the expense of services and research with a practical impact on the lives of individuals and families is wrong. Call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, tell them your state and ask to speak with your Senator’s Legislative Assistant for Health and Disability issues. Tell them to oppose S. 1094 unless changes are made to increase the percentage of research funding going to improving services.

Remember, call your Senator today at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to vote NO on S. 1094 as currently written.

Your advocacy is needed today!