One thing I have learned over the past few years is that getting my hopes up that Congress can accomplish anything is a lost cause. One would think, at least one that is rational and uses their brain would think, that extending funding for research and therapies autism would be a slam dunk. That same rational person would be wrong.
I have written a few times over the last few months urging people to call their representative and urge them to extend the funding for CARA. I have called numerous members of Congress a number of times, most recently Eric Cantor, to express my view that they should support this measure. Autism is non-partisan, and affects families that support every political position. Shoot, Cantor blocked a House vote on the same exact bill he introduced 5 years ago when it came up for renewal (CARA) and finally came around. With Cantor done playing politics with CARA, it passed the House overwhelmingly this week, and headed back to the Senate.
Where it promptly hit another roadblock in the form of Tom Coburn and a few colleagues. I am completely blown away that someone that was a practicing MD would show such blatant disregard for medical research, just so he could play politics. And Coburn and friends pass themselves off as “leaders” for our country; newsflash, what they are doing is not leadership, but they don’t see that.
To say that DC is dysfunctional at this point is an understatement. A lot of work must be done for the politicians to remotely get close to being dysfunctional. I urge you to call Senator Coburn’s office to get him on board. Autism is not a game, and the loss of funding for research and development of therapies would be devastating. I doubt he cares. I am proud of Senators like Chuck Schumer who have been pushing for the extension of CARA for months; they refuse to stand in the way of progress.
It is times like this that I realize why I cannot be a politician. I cannot bring myself to be as useless as most of them are, and I could not justify accepting a paycheck for doing no work at all.
For more on CARA and Senator Coburn’s games, check out http://www.autismvotes.org