(November 13, 2007) Autism Speaks, the world's leading foundation dedicated to autism research, urges all Members of Congress to vote to override President Bush's veto of H.R. 3043, the FY 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill.
Last December, Congress passed unanimously, and President Bush signed into law, the Combating Autism Act (CAA), which specifically authorized dramatic and very necessary increases in autism funding at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Health Resources and Services Administration. The CAA marked an historic first step in recognizing the public health crisis posed by autism, which now strikes one in 150 of our nation's children.
The time has now come to translate the promise of the CAA into real funding. Congress has thus far lived up to its commitment by passing H.R. 3043, which includes historic increases in funding for federal autism programs. These appropriations are specifically authorized under the CAA.
As significant as the enactment of the CAA was, its true promise will not be recognized without funding its authorization levels. Otherwise, particularly if the government is forced into simply passing a continuing resolution, the critical need for increased funding of autism research will be lost for another year. Our nation's children can't afford another year with completely underfunded efforts to better track the scope of autism, expand research into the mechanisms and causes and potential treatment of autism, and improved services for our autistic children.
For those children and their families, Autism Speaks' urges all Members of Congress to vote to override the President's veto of H.R. 3043.