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Calls to Action

House Members Respond to CDC Announcement

WASHINGTON, DC (March 27, 2014) -- Members of the U.S. House of Representatives issued the following statements today in response to the new autism prevalence estimates made by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. (Statements from Senate members are here; state leaders here.)

HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ERIC CANTOR (R-VA)
(Championed Kids First Research Act directing $126 million in federal funding to pediatric research)

"Today's announcement by the CDC highlights not only the very real, lived experience of families affected by autism, it also speaks to the need for a national strategy to address this issue. I stand with the autism community today and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to respond to this urgent public health crisis."

 Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ):
(House sponsor of the 2011 Combating Autism Reauthorization Act; co-chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus)
“The continued increase in children affected by autism—a 30 percent rise from previous figures—shows the magnitude of the problem. It’s alarming. We have to continue the work to determine the cause of ASD, identify autistic children as early as possible to begin treatment, and press ahead with research, new therapies and effective services. The quality of life of many children is at stake, as it is with young adults who age out of the support services in educational systems.”

 

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA):
(Co-chair of the Congressional Autism Caucus)
 “The CDC results are more evidence, if any is necessary, that the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders is greater than we thought just a few years ago. These results emphasize just how essential it is that the federal government increase our investments in research on autism spectrum disorders – along with services to diagnose and treat individuals with autism and help them and their families.”

 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
(Chair of the House Republican Conference; special needs parent)
“As the mom of a 6-year old son with Down syndrome, I know firsthand the challenges those with disabilities – and their families – face.  When our son Cole was diagnosed with Down syndrome – just three days after he was born – the doctors informed us his life would be full of medical complications.  They focused on his limits, not on his abilities.  Years later, as an advocate for the disability community and a proud supporter of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, I am confident we can expand long-term opportunities for those with disabilities.  The prevalence of Autism very much concerns me, which is why I will continue to make sure those with special needs can help save for their futures and have endless opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
(House sponsor of the ABLE Act which would allow tax-exemopt savings accounts for people with disabilities)

“The increase in the prevalence of autism in children announced by the CDC further underscores the need for Congress to take up and pass the ABLE Act to provide individuals with disabilities with the financial planning tools they need and deserve. Those living with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities face enormous financial difficulties, yet they cannot benefit from the same IRS-sanctioned tools that other Americans enjoy to use in planning for their future. ABLE opens the door for them to live their lives to their highest potential by making tax-free savings accounts available to cover qualified expenses in areas such as education, housing, medical, and transportation. ABLE is about leveling the playing field for all those who live with disabilities, and the time is now to turn this legislation into law.” 

Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
(Champion of improved TRICARE coverage for military kids with autism)
“Today's announcement by the CDC highlights not only the everyday experience of families affected by autism, it also addresses the need for a national plan to tackle this issue. With the release of data today, I look forward to continuing my efforts to work with my colleagues on an actionable response to this health crisis."