Bills to Reauthorize the Combating Autism Act Introduced in Senate and House

Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced the Autism Spectrum Disorders Act of 2011, legislation to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act of 2006. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.   This legislation ensures that the programs established under the original law continue for an additional three years, including research, surveillance, awareness and treatment efforts. These programs are set to expire in September of this year without any Congressional action. Some advocates were hoping for only a one year extension of the law so that some improvements could be made before a longer term bill was introduced. However, due to the short timeframe before the programs are set to expire, the bill’s sponsors opted to go with a longer term reauthorization.

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