On Tuesday, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) continued its focus on federal spending oversight by holding a subcommittee hearing on federal autism efforts. The hearing was scheduled in response to reports indicating potentially widespread duplication and lack of coordination in federal autism spending. Congressmen Rob Woodall (GA-7) and John Lewis (GA-5) authored a bipartisan letter requesting that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) further evaluate current federal funding priorities, particularly as they relate to recent but significant advances in scientific research pertaining to autism.
"While government bureaucracy can move slower than scientific research, our obligation is to ensure we are properly serving families affected by autism while also responsibly and effectively using taxpayer dollars," said Woodall, who serves as a member of OGR. "This initiative is a great example of those things on which Congress can work together to better serve the American people. I'm grateful for the work being done by the Marcus Autism Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and appreciate the partnership of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle."
"This effort moves us closer to addressing the needs of individuals and families affected with autism spectrum disorders," said Representative Lewis. "Institutions in my congressional district -- like Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Marcus Autism Center and the Centers for Disease Control -- are on the front lines of diagnosing, treating, preventing and tracking the progress of autism. Every day, scientific discoveries are making significant progress, and this is a prime opportunity for federal entities to be more efficient and effective partners and to help make a difference in the lives of countless families."
"We appreciate Congressman Woodall and Congressman Lewis bringing bipartisan attention to this critical issue," said Don Mueller, executive director of Marcus Autism Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. "The groundbreaking research and evidence-based early intervention work we are doing at Marcus Autism Center create an important value proposition. Through earlier diagnosis and intervention, we can change the trajectory of a child's life and ultimately reduce the cost of services needed to support that child in years to come. This is good for children, their families, and the American taxpayer."
Woodall represents the Seventh Congressional District of Georgia, which includes the majority of Forsyth and Gwinnett counties. Lewis represents the 5th Congressional District of Georgia.