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Autism Act Clears House

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The Autism CARES Act now heads to the Senate after passing the House on a voice vote late Tuesday. (Shutterstock)

The Autism CARES Act now heads to the Senate after passing the House on a voice vote late Tuesday. (Shutterstock)

Congress is one step closer to renewing the nation’s primary autism legislation.

The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act, or Autism CARES, Tuesday evening by a voice vote.

The measure would renew what’s previously been known as the Combating Autism Act, which provides millions each year in federal funding for research, prevalence tracking, training for professionals, early identification and other autism efforts.

The current law is set to expire at the end of September and all associated dollars and projects funded by the act will come to a halt if new legislation is not in place by then.

Under the measure approved by the House this week, $260 million would be authorized annually for autism-related initiatives through 2019.

In addition to renewing support for existing federally-funded activities, the bill moving through Congress would also provide for an autism point person at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and calls for changes to the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee. What’s more, the legislation would mandate a new report focusing on the needs of young adults and youth during transition.

The House vote paves the way for the U.S. Senate to consider the bill, which aides say could happen before the end of the month.

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. Whitney says:

    Let us hope some of those initiatives are services which are desperately needed. I can not rely Medicaid because Texas choose not to expand the Medicaid option.

  2. Carmen says:

    Both Autism CARES Act Bills (S. 2449 & HR 4631) discriminate against older autistic adults. It mentions adults 7 times and 6 of those times it’s for younger adults transitioning out of high school or college. Older adults are only included for research purposes not for services and supports report. They also further limit the number of autistics and parents (non federal members) on the IACC panel :(

  3. Noelie Angevine says:

    How can we, as caregivers, make this information public?
    The amount of money dedicated to this cause is practically nothing, but at least it is better than nothing.
    Why do we have to compete with other important causes when there is pkenty if misused money that can be nade available?

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