June 22,2005

Grassley on the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector’s Final Recommendations for Reform

Remarks of Sen. Chuck Grassley
News Conference on the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector’s Final Report
Wednesday, June 22, 2005

I want to thank Diana Aviv as well as Paul Brest and Cass Wheeler – who unfortunatelycannot be here today – for their work in bringing together the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector to giveus this final report. I appreciate all your hard work and ask that you convey my appreciation to theenormous number of individuals who were involved in this effort.

I think it is particularly important that Commissioner Everson is here today. CommissionerEverson has brought a real focus at the IRS on the abuses and problems we are unfortunately seeingin the tax-exempt sector. I commend him for his leadership in this area. I’m pleased that there isstrong recognition by both the executive and legislative branches that we need to seek reforms thatwill strengthen our nation’s charities. This report today will be of great use as the FinanceCommittee – in a bipartisan basis with Senator Baucus – now begins drafting legislation. My goalis legislation that will seek to encourage more checks to charities while also ensuring that the dollarsare being spent appropriately to help the community and those in need.

The panel report will inform the committee and its work, particularly in the important areasof governance and transparency. I see much in this report that provides significant common ground.As an example, I’m especially pleased with the panel’s recommendation that there should beminimum payouts for donor-advised funds and supporting organizations. I also appreciate thepanel’s comments about financial statements and audits and that there not be undue burden placedon small charities.

I recognize, though, that the IRS is the one that must shoulder the burden of enforcing thelaw and so we will certainly look to Commissioner Everson and his staff as well as Treasury for theirjudgment on reforms, particularly in addressing the abusive situations that the commissionerhighlighted with such candor in his April letter to the committee. My time line is to have legislationthis summer for Finance Committee members to be able to review and then to have the committeemark up legislation soon after that. Thank you again for your hard work.