You are here

No Better Friend - A Special Thanks to Congressman Dan Burton

Daily News Navigator

During the recent fiasco in Congress, during which special interest riders were snuck into the Homeland Security Bill, roiling the autism community and those who care about it, no one was more surprised or disturbed than Congressman Dan Burton, Republican from Indiana.  As chair of the powerful Committee on Government Reform, and having personally taken on the challenge of addressing many vexing vaccination issues, nothing was nearer and dearer to his heart than championing the rights of those possibly injured by vaccines.  And as chair of the committee, in which many hearings on the subject were held, he had every reason to expect to be informed of any relevant amendments prior to the vote.

Perhaps precisely because it was known he would object, and as Republican chair of an important committee might be able to hold up the end of session vote on the Homeland Security Bill, the Congressman was not so informed. 

Regardless, not one to give up easily, and even though Congress had already adjourned, Congressman Burton returned from his home state of Indiana, to address the now near empty chambers,  in order to explain why the special provisions in the Homeland Security Act were "a travesty of justice".  And to call for a White House conference on autism.

And even though he was unable to influence the vote in the House, in an effort to forestall passage of the egregious rider in the Senate, he prepared a "Dear Colleague" letter containing facts and fiction about autism, which Democratic Senator Lieberman delivered to the floor of the Senate, during the contentious Senate debate.

Congressman Burton has been steadfast and courageous in his effort to educate a reluctant Congress and awaken a sleepy media.  His ongoing and consistent effort on behalf of the vaccine-killed or injured is to be commended.

Sandy Gottstein

Date: 6-12-2002               

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty." - Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), paraphrasing John Philpot Curran (1808)