February 16,2007

Grassley, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Strengthen Red Cross' Governance

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Committee on Finance, today introduced bipartisan legislation to reform and strengthen the Red Cross’ governance. The bill is an outgrowth of Grassley’s oversight work to make sure the organization functions at full capacity to help Americans after natural disasters and perform other public service.

“The Red Cross does a very good job,” Grassley said. “It can do an even better job with some simple management improvements. The Red Cross is responsive to changes and ways to become more accountable to the American people. I hope Congress will fulfill its responsibility to deliver these reforms.”

The reforms – such as reducing the of the Red Cross’ board – must be legislated because the group is congressionally chartered. An independent advisory group commissioned by the Red Cross recommended the changes; the Red Cross is working closely with Grassley and his fellow legislators to see the changes enacted.

Grassley offered the legislation last December and hoped for quick approval before the last Congress adjourned but it was blocked in the Senate by an anonymous hold.

Grassley introduced today’s bill with Sens. Edward Kennedy and Mike Enzi. Other original cosponsors so far are Sens. Martinez, Akaka, Dole, Brown, Lieberman, Isakson, and Bill Nelson (FL); others may be added today.