COMBATING AUTISM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2011
(House of Representatives - September 20, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

        

[Pages H6249-H6254]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              COMBATING AUTISM REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2011

  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 2005) to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act of 2006.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2005

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Combating Autism 
     Reauthorization Act of 2011''.

     SEC. 2. DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES SURVEILLANCE AND RESEARCH 
                   PROGRAM.

       Part R of title III of the Public Health Service Act (42 
     U.S.C. 280i et seq.) is amended--
       (1) in section 399AA(e), by striking ``2011'' and inserting 
     ``2014'';
       (2) in section 399BB(g), by striking ``2011'' and inserting 
     ``2014'';

[[Page H6250]]

       (3) in section 399CC(f), by striking ``2011'' and inserting 
     ``2014''; and
       (4) in section 399DD--
       (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``Not later than 4 years 
     after the date of enactment of the Combating Autism Act of 
     2006'' and inserting ``Not later than 2 years after the date 
     of enactment of the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 
     2011''; and
       (B) in subsection (b), in paragraphs (4) and (5), by 
     striking ``the 4-year period beginning on the date of 
     enactment of this Act'' and inserting ``the 6-year period 
     beginning on the date of enactment of the Combating Autism 
     Act of 2006''.

     SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       Section 399EE of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 
     280i-4) is amended to read as follows:

     ``SEC. 399EE. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

       ``(a) Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research 
     Program.--To carry out section 399AA, there is authorized to 
     be appropriated $22,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 
     through 2014.
       ``(b) Autism Education, Early Detection, and 
     Intervention.--To carry out section 399BB, there is 
     authorized to be appropriated $48,000,000 for each of fiscal 
     years 2011 through 2014.
       ``(c) Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee; Certain 
     Other Programs.--To carry out sections 399CC, 404H, and 409C, 
     there is authorized to be appropriated $161,000,000 for each 
     of fiscal years 2011 through 2014.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. 
Doyle) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts).
  Mr. PITTS. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, H.R. 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 
2011, would enable the Department of Health and Human Services to 
continue its important work to understand, treat, and cure autism 
spectrum disorders.
  In 2000, Congress passed the Children's Health Act that included 
funding for research and surveillance on autism. Eventually in 2006, 
Congress passed the Combating Autism Act that is now being 
reauthorized.
  The Combating Autism Act authorizes HHS to research on autism 
spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities at NIH, convene 
an Interagency Autism Coordinating Council, conduct surveillance to 
identify the extent of the disorder, and promote early screening and 
train medical personnel to identify children at risk.
  Since the program was first passed in 2006, research has led to 
better diagnosis, more comprehensive surveillance and programs that 
offer support and respite for families. I urge my colleagues to support 
this legislation, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. DOYLE. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to see that the House of Representatives is 
considering legislation to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act, and 
it's not a moment too soon with the Combating Autism Act set to expire 
at the end of this month.
  I want to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of this 
act, and I also want to thank my counterpart, my colleague and my good 
friend, Chris Smith, on the other side of the aisle, for his leadership 
on this issue.
  Five years ago, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan 
legislation by a voice vote that provided the support and direction for 
the country's first autism-specific research. That bill, the Combating 
Autism Act, included life-changing provisions relating to the diagnosis 
and treatment of persons with autism spectrum disorders, and expanded 
biomedical research on autism, including an essential focus on possible 
environmental causes.
  With this funding, the Centers for Disease Control have been able to 
put together detailed surveillance of autism so that we have better 
data to use. Autism screening at well-baby checkups have become 
mainstream, and parents are better educated about the warning signs, 
along with the treatment options. Additionally, standards of care for 
those with an autism spectrum disorder have been developed for both 
physical and behavioral health where there had been none.
  Early diagnoses and intervention for children with autism is utterly 
life changing. It can mean the difference between independence in the 
community and living in a communal home. It can mean the difference 
between speaking or being mute. And for many parents, it means peace of 
mind and a support network that would have been impossible without this 
initial investment in research on autism spectrum disorders.
  I introduced this legislation with my good friend, Chris Smith, as 
part of a three-bill package. Those pieces of legislation would ensure 
that there are also services available to adults with autism, which I 
think is critical. It's my hope that in the future this body will have 
a conversation about the needs of adults living with autism, and that 
we will consider how best to provide for them so that everyone has a 
long, fulfilling and productive life.
  But, for now, it is of grave importance that the House passes this 
reauthorization with the same overwhelming support as 5 years ago and 
that we can get this bill to the President's desk by the end of this 
month.
  I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I reserve the balance 
of my time.
  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from 
Alabama (Mr. Bachus).
  Mr. BACHUS. I thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania and, in fact, 
both gentlemen from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. Doyle, I commend you, and I commend my colleague, Chris Smith, 
for your excellent work over the years in combating autism and for 
bringing this bill to reauthorize the Combating Autism Act.
  As Mr. Doyle said, there is an increasing prevalence of autism, and 
it is a diagnosis and a condition that these children and their 
families deal with for their entire life. It's a challenge for those 
families, a tremendous challenge, one that can't be overstated; but 
it's also a challenge for society as well because the long-term cost 
involved in providing care for individuals with development disorders 
can be great, although it can be lessened. There is hope; there is 
treatment.
  The blessing of recent years, in fact, has been that new research and 
early intervention programs are making an enormous difference in 
bettering the lives of young boys and girls with autism spectrum 
disorders.

                              {time}  1600

  With early intervention, many can lead much better if not almost 
normal lives, which is a blessing for all of us, and it's a joy to see. 
It's a joy to see these children respond to early intervention and 
begin to develop emotionally.
  As a member of the Congressional Autism Caucus, I personally have 
seen exciting innovations at facilities using a comprehensive approach 
to care. Mitchell's Place in Birmingham is helping young children and 
adolescents in Alabama improve both their academic performance and 
social behavior by combining the latest in research and services with a 
structured and caring environment.
  That center was started by a couple whose young boy had autism, and 
it is a blessing for our community. You only need to visit that center 
and see the beautiful children and the new hope that they have, not 
only they but their proud parents and grandparents as they realize that 
every day, every week, every month they are improving and becoming more 
a part of society and more a functioning individual as far as their 
interaction with others. It is literally a godsend to these people. 
It's an oasis. It's a spring in the desert.
  A coordinated and comprehensive approach to the treatment of autism 
spectrum disorders has been key to this encouraging process. My home 
State of Alabama, I am proud to say, has recognized the importance of 
close cooperation when it formed the Alabama Interagency Autism 
Coordinating Council in 2008. To a certain extent it looked to 
Pennsylvania and the work that had been done there. Children and 
parents across my State are being helped by the council's planning and 
awareness efforts.
  Finally, the Combating Autism Act has been crucial to promoting a 
coordinated approach on the national level. The renewal of this 
legislation will build on the successes that have already been achieved 
in a responsible and effective way. I close by saying that it's my hope 
that this legislation will receive overwhelming bipartisan support 
because it is doing good work while making life-changing investments in 
the health and well-being of

[[Page H6251]]

very special children and very precious children.
  I thank you, Mr. Doyle.
  Mr. DOYLE. Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from 
Alabama, a valuable member of the Autism Caucus, for his words of 
support.
  My good friend, Chris Smith, has joined us on the floor. Chris, you 
weren't here, I thanked you for your leadership, and it's good to see 
you.
  Mr. Speaker, at this time I would like to yield 3 minutes to my 
friend and colleague, the gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. 
Butterfield).
  Mr. BUTTERFIELD. Let me first thank Congressman Doyle for yielding me 
time and certainly thank him for his leadership on this very important 
issue. Not only has he led on this issue, but he has led on the Energy 
and Commerce Committee for many years, and I just want to thank him 
publicly for his friendship and his leadership. Also let me thank 
Congressman Chris Smith for his bipartisan spirit and his willingness 
to work on this very important issue. These two men working together 
have really and truly made a difference. I join the chairman of the 
subcommittee, Mr. Pitts, and all of the others, in thanking them for a 
job well done.
  Mr. Speaker, later today the House is going to take up this 
legislation, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011. Make no 
mistake about it, I intend to vote for this very important bill.
  However, I have come to the floor today to make a very simple but 
important point that I had intended to raise had this bill been heard 
in regular order and had it been considered by our committee.
  Although autism occurs in every racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic 
group, studies show clearly that, on average, a diagnosis of autism or 
autism spectrum disorder is actually delayed by almost 2 years for 
African American and Hispanic children as compared to their Caucasian 
counterparts. Many of my colleagues may not know this, but it is a 
clear fact, minority children are much more likely to be misdiagnosed 
with conduct-related or adjustment disorders.
  Since research shows that early detection yields better, more 
effective results, it is imperative, Mr. Speaker, that we expand 
efforts to address disparities in awareness, diagnosis, treatment, and 
services. In carrying out the programs of the Reauthorization Act, I 
simply ask the Secretary of Health and Human Services to make every 
conceivable effort to address the well-documented needs of minority 
children who are diagnosed with this disease that we refer to as 
autism.
  I want to thank you for listening and thank you for your advocacy, 
and I urge my colleagues to support passage of H.R. 2005.
  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Smith) and thank him for his leadership 
on this issue.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. I thank my good friend, the chair, Mr. 
Pitts, for yielding and for his leadership on all issues relating to 
health, and in particular on autism. I do want to thank Speaker Boehner 
and Majority Leader Cantor for bringing the bill to the floor. Without 
them, it wouldn't be on the floor today. And I also thank Energy and 
Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton. And of course, again, Chairman 
Pitts.
  And I want to thank my good friend Mr. Doyle. We have worked on this 
for well over a decade. We formed the Autism Caucus. It has over 100 
members. It is totally bipartisan. It has been a pleasure to work with 
him, and I thank him for his leadership as well.
  Mr. Speaker, I do rise in support of this bill, H.R. 2005, the 
Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011. This legislation is 
critically important to continue without interruption the progress that 
has been achieved to date in understanding autism and in developing 
interventions that will have the greatest impact in helping individuals 
affected by autism or other developmental disabilities.
  When I first got elected to Congress in 1980, the autism community 
accepted that autism prevalence rates in the United States were 
something on the order of 3 in 10,000. Today it is estimated to be 1 in 
110, and in some places like New Jersey, the data suggests 1 in 94, for 
a total of about 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. who are suffering 
from autism.
  On May 31 of this year, I chaired a hearing as chairman of the 
Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights Subcommittee, a hearing 
entitled, ``Global Autism: A Developmental Disability Pandemic.'' My 
committee received testimony that some 67 million people worldwide 
suffer from ASD in the world. There are tens of millions in Africa, 
according to the World Health Organization. It is an epidemic, and this 
legislation, the Combating Autism Act, is a very responsible and, I 
would suggest, modest effort to combat this pandemic that's occurring.
  In 1998, Mr. Speaker, the wonderful parents of two autistic children 
in my district, Bobby and Billy Gallagher, asked me to look into what 
appeared at the time to be an autism prevalence spike in Brick 
Township, New Jersey. I invited CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances 
and Disease Registry, ATSDR, and others to investigate. Not only did 
their probe show what appeared to be elevated numbers of children with 
the disorder in Brick Township, but the data strongly suggested a much 
wider problem than anticipated in other parts of my State because they 
weren't doing comparisons, and the data calls produced information 
which said, we have a problem not just in Brick, but elsewhere.
  In direct response to that, in 1999 I introduced the Autism 
Statistics, Surveillance, Research, and Epidemiology, or ASSURE, Act to 
establish centers of excellence and create a Federal advisory committee 
which became Title I of the Children's Health Act of 2000. I always 
want to thank Chairman Bilirakis for including it in his bill. It made 
all the difference in the world. Five years later, the initiative was 
reauthorized and expanded in the Combating Autism Act, the law we 
respectfully ask Members to renew today.

                              {time}  1610

  According to the NIH, autism spectrum disorder--and just for the 
record, again, autism is defined as impaired verbal or nonverbal 
communication skills and social interactions, and restricted, 
repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior ranging in impact from 
mild to significantly disabling--it ought to be noted that the 
Combating Autism Act of 2011 will continue the success of the CAA of 
2006 by authorizing funding for programs at NIH, CDC, and HRSA for 3 
additional years.
  I would point out, and this is important, autism spectrum disorder is 
very expensive and, again, efforts made to mitigate its prevalence and 
to treat with early intervention those who show or manifest signs of it 
are not only humane, and that should be our driving force, but they are 
also very cost effective. It's estimated that ASD costs per year are 
between $35 billion and $90 billion dollars, with a ``b.'' So the costs 
are very, very large.
  H.R. 2005, as my colleagues I know have said, would also reauthorize 
the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, or the IACC, a panel of 
government and public members tasked with coordinating all ASD-related 
activities within HHS, as well as developing and annually updating a 
strategic plan for ASD research in order to enhance the quality, 
efficacy, and applicability of research grants. In other words, let's 
spend the money wisely.
  To avoid waste and duplication, the IACC has crafted three strategic 
research plans: one in 2009, one in 2010, and another for this year. 
For example, in 2009, the strategic plan included 40 research 
objectives, including development of new diagnostic tools, 
identification of genetic and environmental risk factors, and 
assessments of services for people with ASD in all ages in a community 
setting.
  It should be noted that the aging-out issue is becoming increasingly 
a concern. What does a parent whose son or daughter or sons or 
daughters turn 21 and the full array of those services are no longer 
available? What do they do?
  Recently I met with Chuck Colson's daughter, who wrote a book called 
``Dancing with Max,'' a wonderful story of love between a mother and 
son. Her son now is aging out, and she is frightened by the prospect of 
what happens if she gets elderly and those services are not there. We 
need to be focusing on that.
  The 2010 strategic plan had 32 new objectives, including health 
disparities in

[[Page H6252]]

early diagnosis and treatment of co-concurring conditions, such as 
epilepsy, sleep, and gastrointestinal disorders. The 2011 strategic 
plan added another 16 objectives, including studies on the use and 
accessibility of alternative and augmentative communication tools for 
nonverbal individuals.
  I just want to say to my colleagues, and I have much more that I will 
put into the Record of how important it is, but all these different 
agencies of government are surging to try to combat autism. We need to 
reauthorize this legislation. The CDC has its ``learn the signs, act 
early campaign.'' My friend, Mr. Butterfield, earlier mentioned the 
fact that minority communities have been left out or diagnoses are 
often not done in a timely way. That is absolutely true. And more needs 
to be done. The programs are in place. The policies are in place. We 
need to continue what is truly a very, very effective use of taxpayer 
dollars to help these autistic children.
  There is also the problem, as the information has shown, that early 
detection is key to mitigating the impact of autism. But still, even 
with 10 years' experience educating doctors, parents, and educators, 
there is still about a 2-year lag when there's a detection of something 
is wrong with my son or daughter before that diagnosis is actually 
made. The earlier we start the intervention strategies, the greater 
chance that child will have a quality of life and a life where they can 
then achieve their goals and their dreams, but if we don't catch it 
early and begin taking action, very often, the life of that child is 
more seriously impaired.
  This legislation, like I said, is a modest step, but a very crucial 
step. I want to thank all the organizations for the work that they have 
done--they have been tremendous--the NGOs that are in the community, 
Autism Speaks, the Autism Society, the AUCD, all of the groups, for the 
work that they have done in educating Members.
  And again, thank you Chairman Pitts for bringing this bill to the 
floor, and to Eric Cantor for scheduling it and ensuring that we can 
act on this in a timely way, and again my good friend on the other side 
of the aisle, Mr. Doyle, for his leadership.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 2005, the Combating 
Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011. This legislation is critically 
important to continue without interruption the progress achieved to 
date in understanding autism and in developing interventions that will 
have the greatest impact in helping individuals affected by autism or 
another developmental disability.
  When I first got elected to Congress in 1980, the community accepted 
that autism prevalence rates in the United States were 3 in 10,000. 
Today, it is estimated to be 1 in 110, and in some places like New 
Jersey, 1 in 94--for a total of 1.5 million individuals in the United 
States. On May 31 of this year, I chaired a hearing entitled, ``Global 
Autism: `A Developmental Disability Pandemic,' '' and my committee 
received testimony that some 67 million people suffer from ASD 
worldwide.
  In 1998, the wonderful parents of two autistic children in my 
district, Bobbie and Billy Gallagher, asked me to look into what 
appeared to be an autism prevalence spike in Brick Township, New 
Jersey. I asked CDC and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease 
Registry (ATSDR) and others to investigate, and not only did their 
probe show what appeared to be elevated numbers of children with the 
disorder in Brick, but the data strongly suggested a much wider problem 
than anticipated in other parts of the State.
  In 1999, I introduced the Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research 
and Epidemiology (ASSURE) Act to establish centers of excellence and 
create a Federal advisory committee, which became Title I of the 
Children's Health Act of 2000.
  Five years later, the initiative was reauthorized and expanded in the 
Combating Autism Act--the law we respectfully ask members to renew 
today.
  According to the National Institutes of Health, Autism Spectrum 
Disorder (ASD) is ``characterized by impaired verbal and nonverbal 
communication skills and social interactions and restricted, repetitive 
and stereotyped patterns of behavior, ranging in impact from mild to 
significantly disabling.''
  The total cost to society of ASD has been estimated from 35 to 90 
billion dollars annually. The Harvard School of Public Health 
calculated that it can cost $3.2 million to take care of one autistic 
person over his or her lifetime. Looking at medical expenses alone, a 
CD study of employer-based health insurance showed that individuals 
with an ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those 
without an ASD by $4,100 to $6,200 per year.
  A decade of research, surveillance, treatment and education has had a 
significant positive impact on the ASD affected person, as well as his 
or her family--who, as we all know, face huge financial and emotional 
challenges of their own.
  The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011 will continue the 
success of the CAA of 2006 by authorizing funding for programs at NIH, 
CDC, and HRSA for three additional years. Total funding for the 
legislation will be at the fiscal year 2011 appropriated level of $231 
million for each of fiscal years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The 
Reauthorization Act will authorize appropriations of $22 million for 
surveillance; $48 million for education, early detection, and 
intervention; and $161 million for NIH research and operation of the 
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee.
  This is not considered ``new'' money, but rather a straight-line 
reauthorization of total funds for the legislation, in compliance with 
the ``cut-go'' requirements of the 112th Congress. The Combating Autism 
Reauthorization Act also retains sunset and reporting provisions that 
ensure appropriate review and accountability.
  H.R. 2005 reauthorizes the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee 
(IACC)--a panel of government and public members, tasked with 
coordinating all ASD-related activities within HHS, as well as 
developing and annually updating a strategic plan for ASD research. In 
order to enhance the quality, efficacy and applicability of research 
grants and to avoid waste and duplication, the IACC has crafted 3 
strategic research plans in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
  For example, in 2009, the strategic plan included 40 research 
objectives, including the development of new diagnostic tools, 
identification of genetic and environmental risk factors, and 
assessments of services for people with ASD of all ages in a community 
setting.
  The 2010 IACC strategic plan has 32 new objectives, including health 
disparities in early diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring 
conditions, such as epilepsy and sleep and gastrointestinal disorders.
  And the 2011 strategic plan added another 16 objectives, including 
studies on the use and accessibility of alternative and augmentative 
communication (AAC) tools for nonverbal individuals.
  The IACC also summarizes advances in ASD research identified as 
having the greatest impact on the field of autism, which has included 
the association between family history of autoimmune disease and ASD, 
genetic risk factors, racial disparities, and novel ways to diagnose 
ASD using speech patterns. Just for fiscal year 2010, NIH awarded 528 
grants from baseline funding to pursue promising research related to 
autism.
  This reauthorization bill also continues support of the critical 
surveillance and epidemiology programs that were established by the 
Children's Health Act and strengthened by the Combating Autism Act.
  The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Network (ADDM) has 
published the most comprehensive and highest quality estimates to date 
of the prevalence of ASD in multiple areas of the U.S.
  The Centers for Autism Developmental Disabilities Research and 
Epidemiology has implemented the Study to Explore Early Development 
(SEED), which is the largest study planned to date of the causes of 
autism, including genetic and environmental risk factors. The study has 
enrolled 2700 families and initial findings are due next year.
  The CAA also focuses on programs in education, early detection and 
interventions that have already impacted the lives of hundreds of 
thousands of individuals with autism and other developmental 
disabilities and their families.
  CDC's health communication campaign, ``Learn the Signs. Act Early,'' 
educates parents, health care professionals, and early childhood 
educators about the importance of monitoring a child's developmental 
milestones, seeking further evaluation where there is a concern, and 
seeking early intervention services as soon as possible.
  The Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and 
Services Administration developed and implemented the Combating Autism 
Act Initiative, which is conducting research on and providing training 
to health professionals in the use of valid, reliable screening and 
diagnostic tools and in the provision of evidence-based interventions 
for children with ASD or another developmental disability.
  As a result of increased awareness of the public, of educators, and 
of health care professionals, the median age for diagnosis of autism--
which currently is about 4.5 years--appears to be on the decline. 
However, it is important to continue our efforts, as there is still on 
average a 2 year time gap from developmental concerns to actual 
diagnosis, research has demonstrated the positive impact of 
implementing behavioral intervention before age 3, and Applied 
Behavioral analysis has shown significant improvement for children as 
young as 18 months.

[[Page H6253]]

  In summary, under the Children's Health Act and the Combating Autism 
Act, our scientific infrastructure for addressing autism and other 
developmental disorders has developed and we have made major advances 
in our understanding of ASD. For the first time, we have high quality 
data on prevalence and data to support analysis of causes of autism, 
and a clearer picture of promising paths and gaps in research. Health 
professionals have a level of knowledge for greatly improved 
diagnostics and interventions to provide meaningful medical and 
behavioral benefits. There is optimism that a sustained focus on 
genetic and environmental triggers will lead to efficacious treatments 
and prevention strategies. Importantly, the infrastructure and programs 
are in place to continue our progress.
  I want to thank our Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor, as 
well as Energy and Commerce Chairman Upton, Health Subcommittee 
Chairman Pitts for the leadership that have shown in moving this 
legislation forward. I also would like to thank my friend and autism 
caucus co-chair, Congressman Mike Doyle, for his work in developing and 
supporting this legislation.
  Mr. DOYLE. I want to thank my friend, Chris Smith, for his important 
words. I hope all Members were listening carefully because the clock is 
running.
  Mr. Speaker, we anticipate maybe some people coming to the floor to 
speak, so at this time I will reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. PITTS. I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Mississippi (Mr. 
Harper).
  Mr. HARPER. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Combating 
Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011, and I want to thank my colleagues, 
particularly Congressman Smith, Congressman Doyle, and Chairman Pitts, 
for their great work on bringing this to the forefront today.
  Experts estimate that one in every 110 children is diagnosed with 
autism. As a whole, developmental disabilities affect an increasing 
number of young people, and specifically students. In an effort to help 
provide students with exciting education and enrichment opportunities, 
I was honored to establish the Congressional Internship Program for 
Individuals With Intellectual Disabilities in 2010. Last week, 22 
congressional offices, Republican and Democratic, welcomed 11 
developmentally disabled students to their staffs to serve as interns 
for this fall.
  Collecting data for autism spectrum disorders and other developmental 
disabilities is vital to ensuring that every young person with a 
significant disability has the opportunity, the encouragement, and the 
support to become gainfully employed in an integrated setting, pursue a 
postsecondary education, and contribute to and engage in meaningful 
ways in typical community settings once they leave high school. This 
gives these individuals with autism hope.
  I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
  Mr. DOYLE. I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Mr. Speaker, I first learned about autism when I was a young staffer 
in the Pennsylvania State senate. A gentleman by the name of Dan 
Torisky came into our office one day. His son, Eddie, had autism, and 
he had asked us to see what we could do at the State level to give him 
and his family some help. Eddie was a young man at that time. He's an 
adult now. He's in his mid-forties. A lot of people's idea of autism I 
think was from the movie ``Rain Man.'' That was about the only thing 
they knew about autism. It was something that people didn't understand 
and something that was frequently misdiagnosed.
  When Chris and I decided to form this caucus over 10 years ago, one 
of the goals that we had was to bring education and awareness, not only 
to our colleagues, many of whom were not familiar with the disorder, 
but also to the public, and also to bring some attention to the 
researchers at NIH too, that there was something much bigger to this 
than people realized. It has borne fruit over the years. We've seen 
research dollars greatly increased at NIH.
  I want to also echo what my friend, Chris, said about the parents' 
groups. This is really the strength of the autism community. It's not 
the Autism Caucus. It's not Chris Smith or Mike Doyle. It's really the 
parents of these children that formed the many different groups you see 
out there. Their grassroots effort really has grown this movement, 
brought attention to it, given it strength and brought us to where we 
are today.
  We have a clock ticking. This act expires at the end of September. I 
know there's some concern over in the Senate with some of our 
colleagues about reauthorizing these specific bills. I hope that all of 
us will speak to our colleagues over in the Senate--I certainly intend 
to speak to mine--and stress the importance of continuing the great 
progress that's been made over these past 5 years. This is not a time 
for us to stop what we're doing and to pull support for this very, very 
important act.
  I hope that we will pass this swiftly in the House of 
Representatives, and I hope all of us will use whatever influence we 
may have with our colleagues in the other body to see that they also 
get this reauthorized by the end of the month so that the President can 
sign it for all of the families out in America who are dealing with 
this disorder.
  With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


                             General Leave

  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and 
insert extraneous materials in the Record.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, I have no other speakers. I urge Members to 
support H.R. 2005. I commend, again, Chris Smith and Mike Doyle for 
their leadership on this issue.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of 
H.R. 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act. As a founding 
Member of the Congressional Children's Caucus, I am greatly concerned 
with the impact that autism has on children and their families.
  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 
Autism Spectrum Disorders impact an average of 1 in 110 American 
children, and 1 in 70 boys. We can all benefit from learning about this 
disease; autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. 
Continuing research on treating this disease is essential for 
children's health. Thousands of children with autism disorders have 
already shown significant improvement and increased independence 
resulting from early detection and new treatments.
  Currently, there are between 1 and 1.5 million Americans living with 
a form of autism. If current diagnostic rates remain the same or 
increase, more children will be diagnosed with autism this year than 
AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. Autism is the fastest growing 
serious developmental disability in the country. In my home state of 
Texas, where I represent the 18th Congressional District, there are 1 
out of every 163 public students who are eight years old has a form of 
autism.
  As many parents can attest, autism is an extremely costly disability; 
the average annual medical expenditures for individuals with autism are 
between 4 and 6 times greater than those without autism. The Center for 
Disease Control (CDC) places the average lifetime care cost for an 
autism patient at 3.2 million dollars. This legislation provides 
funding for services to assist individuals with autism and their 
families, and allocates vital dollars toward research to improve care 
and treatment.
  The Combating Autism Act of 2006 was a landmark piece of legislation 
that raised awareness of autism spectrum disorders, and organized an 
aggressive federal response to autism. Reauthorizing this bill 
continues funding at current levels, $693 million dollars over 3 years 
for biomedical and treatment research, and services for those living 
with autism and their families.
  In 2006, the Combating Autism Act established the disease as a 
national health priority, increased awareness, and highlighted the need 
for swift and urgent action to address autism. Since that time, 
promising developments and innovations have helped individuals living 
with autism lead more independent lives. Improvements in detection and 
treatment have led to increased independence in teenagers and adults 
with autism.
  The Combating Autism Reauthorization Act is a shining example of how 
government can do more than issue Social Security checks and debate 
debt reduction. This legislation clearly demonstrates that our 
government can be a force for good, and a mechanism for change. New 
science and new technology have presented an unparalleled moment of 
possibility; this legislation has the power to make real differences in 
the lives of those affected by autism.

[[Page H6254]]

  Mr. Speaker, we all have constituents living with autism. We all have 
constituents whose child, sibling, cousin, or friend is living with a 
form of autism. This disability affects Americans of all races and 
backgrounds, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting H.R. 
2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act.
  Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 2005, 
the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act of 2011, a bill important to 
many families in Hawaii.
  H.R. 2005 reauthorizes the landmark Combating Autism Act of 2006, 
which significantly increased both the depth and breadth of the federal 
response to the national and public health emergency posed by autism 
spectrum disorders (ASD).
  Since passage of that law, we have made tremendous strides in 
federally-funded and directed research. It was the detailed 
surveillance by the federal Centers for Disease Control under the act 
that identified the increasing prevalence of autism: 1 in every 110 
American children--including 1 in 70 boys--is diagnosed with an ASD, 
making it the nation's fastest-growing, serious developmental disorder.
  I've heard from a mother in Kailua on the island of Oahu who credits 
the 2006 law for providing her family with needed medical attention and 
assistance for their autistic child. H.R. 2005 builds on our good 
efforts.
  I became a cosponsor of the bill because I believe it supports hope 
and opportunity for a brighter future for families not only in Hawaii 
but across our nation. I urge my colleagues to join me in voting in 
support of the H.R. 2005.
  Mr. LOEBSACK. Mr. Speaker, today, one in every 110 children is 
diagnosed with autism and 1.5 million individuals in the United States 
are affected by this disorder. The rate of autism is increasing by at 
least 10 percent annually, but scientists do not yet know why. That is 
why research into causes and treatments for autism is so important.
  That is why I rise today in support of the Combating Autism 
Reauthorization Act of 2011, which would reauthorize the surveillance 
and research program for autism spectrum disorders and other 
developmental disabilities through 2014. The bill would also authorize 
programs for education, early detection, and intervention, which will 
give the families affected by this disorder access to the best 
available care and help make everyone more aware of the impact autism 
can have on those diagnosed and their families.
  Autism affects the constituents of every single Member of Congress. 
In my own district I have met with families who are affected by autism 
and participated in walks to raise awareness of this disorder. I urge 
my colleagues to support bipartisan passage of this important 
legislation.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Pitts) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, H.R. 2005.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________