Sen. Chuck Grassley is the co-sponsor of the American Red Cross Transparency Act, introduced in March, to give the Government Accountability Office access to Red Cross records for oversight purposes. The Red Cross is congressionally chartered and considered a federal instrumentality. It also receives tax benefits including tax-deductible donations. In June 2016, Grassley released the results of his inquiry into the American Red Cross’ response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Grassley made the following comment on the Red Cross and Hurricane Harvey.
“The American people rely on the Red Cross to respond to natural disasters, and there’s a tradition of the Red Cross’ providing essential services during crises. People give generously to the Red Cross for that purpose. The donors and volunteers responding to Hurricane Harvey deserve the nation’s gratitude for their generosity and selflessness. In return, the Red Cross has an obligation to get the most bang for the buck. It has to account for every penny with as much transparency as possible. People have concerns when they see that the Red Cross isn’t sure how much of every donated dollar is going to specific projects or how much is spent on oversight of those projects, as in Haiti, or that the Red Cross in past disasters didn’t accomplish everything it promised. The American people need the Red Cross to succeed. Part of that is delivering the transparency and financial accountability that donors expect.”