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December 29, 2015

Congressman Seeks More Data on Red Cross Downsizing

A ranking member of the House committee that oversees the American Red Cross is pressing for more information on how layoffs and chapter closures have affected the aid organization's disaster-response mission, ProPublica reports.

In a letter sent Wednesday to Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the top Democrat on the Committee on Homeland Security, cited recent reporting by ProPublica on the charity's finances and cost-cutting moves. The digital news site and NPR have published a series of investigative articles raising questions about the Red Cross's spending and responses to Superstorm Sandy and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Mr. Thompson gave the organization until January 27 to answer a series of questions focusing on the charity's fiscal changes. The Red Cross's work force has shrunk from about 36,000 employees to around 23,000 since Ms. McGovern became chief executive in 2008. The charity has a formal, congressionally chartered role in U.S. disaster-relief efforts.