[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
NPR: CARA Passage One of Few ‘Bold’ Actions Taken by Congress in 2011
December 31, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 31, 2011) — In a year-end review of Congress, NPR correspondent Tamara Keith reported on a professor’s finding that the current Congress is on pace to be the least productive since the 1880s. The renewal of the 2006 Combating Autism Act, signed into law September 30 by President Obama, was singled out as one of the few significant achievements.
The NPR report said Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University, concluded that very few of the 80 bills signed into law in 2011 were major legislation.
“Multiple bills continue funding that had already been ongoing,” according to NPR. “Others, (Grant) says, include ‘taking a bold stance in favor of 9/11 heroes and autism’ with the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act.”
Reflecting on the current Congress, Rutgers Political Science Professor Ross Baker told NPR, “When you’re dealing at this level with issues that are so polarizing, they will basically suck all the oxygen out of both chambers.” Read the full report here.
This Year In Congress: Much Drama, Little To Show
Congress got plenty of attention this year, but it was for all the wrong reasons.
There were at least three countdowns to shutdown, there was the debt-limit fight, plus the will-they-or-won’t-they drama earlier in December over the payroll tax holiday. Looking at how few bills were actually signed into law this year, one might conclude this session was mostly sizzle and not much steak.
“I mean, I knew it was going to be bad this year, but I didn’t realize like how bad it was,” says Tobin Grant, an associate professor of political science at Southern Illinois University.
Grant developed an index to measure Congress’ productivity. After looking at the numbers, he says this Congress is on pace to be the least productive since the ’80s — not the 1980s, but the 1880s.
Grant says he’d consider very few of the 80 bills signed into law so far this session to be major legislation.
Multiple bills continue funding that had already been ongoing. Others, he says, include “taking a bold stance in favor of 9/11 heroes and autism” with the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act and the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act. Congress also passed 10 resolutions naming post offices.
For 2011, the chart shows the number of bills signed into law as of Dec. 29.
Source: Library of Congress
Credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR
Now, this is the first of a two-year Congress, and the first year is always less productive. This one, though, has been especially unproductive.
In 2011, Congress did pass the Deficit Reduction Act, three free-trade bills and a patent-reform measure. However, much of its time was spent racing against those countdown clocks, passing short-term extensions to keep the government open for business and fighting right up to the brink over matters that in the past have been routine.
“When you’re dealing at this level with issues that are so polarizing, they will basically suck all the oxygen out of both chambers,” says Ross Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers.
A spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says having so few bills signed into law isn’t a problem: “Good governance is not measured by the tally of bills passed or the expansion of the federal government, but by the quality of the legislation,” she said.
Meanwhile, the House has complained all year that the Democrat-controlled Senate won’t take up the bills it does pass.
Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says there’s something more at play here when it comes to House Republicans.
“They will brook no compromise to their principles,” he says.
Mann prides himself on being a nonpartisan analyst, but he says this year blame for congressional dysfunction isn’t equally divided between the two parties. The Republican Party, he says, “has become just adamant about taking hostages and making nonnegotiable demands.”
Mann says the goal, once stated quite bluntly by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is denying President Obama a second term.
“Everything in the legislative process is part of a permanent campaign. It’s no longer just a tussle. It’s an all-out war,” Mann says.
This year wasn’t even an election year, which means people may want to temper their expectations for congressional productivity in 2012.
The Autism Community Is Not The Autistic Community
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.