Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) have introduced a measure to reauthorize federal autism research and support programs.
The bill, H.R. 4631, would extend research grants, including at the National Institute of Health, and support services for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) for five years.
The current three-year authorization of autism research and support programs expires Oct. 1. It included $22 million for the Developmental Disabilities Surveillance and Research Program, along with $48 million for autism education. Smith was also the author of that law.
Doyle and Smith cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic that one in every 68 American children has autism.
"The latest autism numbers are simply astounding, and it is imperative that Congress come together to address this issue," Doyle said.
The legislation would extend current programs, as well as direct the Government Accountability Office to report to Congress within two years on the availability of autism support services across each level of government and the private sector.