Doyle-Smith Autism CARES Act Signed into Law

October 1, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) announced today that bipartisan legislation to reauthorize federal programs that help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families has been signed into law.

This is great news for the millions of Americans with autism spectrum disorders and their families,” Congressman Doyle said. “This law enables federal agencies to continue developing better treatments and ensure lifelong support for individuals with autism. I want to express my sincere thanks to the advocates and families who have worked hard to get this bill enacted. The Autism CARES Act will provide much-needed resources. I want to thank my House colleague and Autism Caucus co-chair Chris Smith and Senators Enzy and Menendez for working with me to move this bill through Congress to the President’s desk.”

The Autism CARES Act of 2019 reauthorizes the Autism CARES Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-157). It authorizes over $1 billion in funding for programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) over five years. At CDC, the funding will go to developmental disability surveillance and research; at HRSA, the funding will cover education, early detection and intervention; at NIH, the funding will cover the expansion and coordination of autism-related activities.

Among other actions, the legislation:

  • Requires HHS to report to Congress on the progress of activities related to autism and other developmental disabilities, and the health and well-being of individuals on the autism spectrum. 
  • Directs NIH to conduct research targeted at improving outcomes and detection for persons with autism of all ages. 
  • Directs HRSA to prioritize grants for developmental-behavioral pediatricians in medically-underserved areas. 
  • Amends sections of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to reflect the need for research, surveillance, education, detection, and intervention for individuals with autism spectrum disorder of all ages, not just children. 

H.R. 1058, the Autism CARES Act of 2019, is supported by a broad coalition of autism and disability advocate organizations, including Autism Speaks, the Autism Society of America, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Click here to see Congressman Doyle’s statement on the House Floor in support of the Autism CARES Act.