On Tuesday June 24, 2014, the House will vote on H.R. 4631, renamed, “Autism CARES” The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support Act.
On Wednesday June 25, 2014, the Senate version of this same bill goes to markup and Committee vote. If the bill passes in the Senate HELP Committee, which is almost certain, then it will be the subject of a Motion to pass it out of the full Senate by Unanimous Consent. This Motion could come as early as Wednesday afternoon, and if no Senator objects, this seriously flawed bill — continuing the failed status quo of federal autism policy — could be headed to the desk of the President within days.
The Autism Policy Reform Coalition (APRC) stands by individuals disabled by autism, their families and communities, in stating that this is a bill that needs drastic improvements. APRC has been working to reform the Act with policy for environmental research; better coordination and accountability in government structures; better medical services for individuals with co-morbidities; help for wandering, neglect, abuse, and restraints; and better prevalence counting and epidemiology. Our policy is online at: www.autismpolicy.org/our-mission
As a result of the rush to get this bill passed, and claim a false “victory”, it has been portrayed as a good bill for those facing Autism. APRC feels the changes in the Act are cosmetic at best, and we demand legislation which will be effective.
We are asking you to call the following Senators and ask them to place a hold on the bill and work with the APRC to either amend the bill orallow the existing law to sunset and start fresh to introduce new legislation for Autism.
WHO TO CALL:
Senator Tom Coburn, 202-224-5754
Senator Ted Cruz, 202-224-5922
Senator Rand Paul, 202-224-4343
Senator Mike Lee, 202-224-5444
Senator Roy Blunt, 202-224-5721
Senator Ron Johnson, 202-224-5323
Senator Jim Risch, 202-224-2752
ASK THEM TO HOLD THE BILL:
We need to call the Senators and request that they hold the bill. Call and say S.2449, The Autism CARES Act, is coming up for unanimous consent – Please do NOT vote yes, instead please withhold consent to a Motion for Unanimous Consent on S.2449, because it needs to be fixed. On Wednesday the bill will come out of the Senate HELP subcommittee and next go to the Senate for unanimous consent. Please do not vote yes – the bill needs to sunset or be fixed.
The APRC Policy paper is available online at http://www.autismpolicy.org/our-mission
The government has spent $1.7 Billion and it has not prevented one case of autism nor has it come up with a single treatment for those severely affected by autism. Our coalition which represents over 100,000 families requests that you help us and hold the bill so as to get a better bill thataddresses the medical translation research and government accountability structures that will create an improved federal response.
No hearings have been held to gain public input on the bill. The APRC agrees with the recent GAO report that raised concerns about accountability in research spending and we want the spending to match what the scientists have declared in the strategic plan.