Lawmakers Seek Red Cross Records

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A key Senate lawmaker is questioning the effectiveness of Red Cross officials.

Iowa Republican Charles Grassley has sent a letter requesting documents from the relief agency including correspondence and minutes of board meetings.

The Red Cross has come under fire from critics who say it failed to respond quickly enough after Hurricane Katrina. Critics believe the response in some low-income, minority areas was inadequate. Others have faulted the agency for a lack of cooperation with grass-roots organizations.

Earlier this month, Marsha Evans resigned her post as president of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross functions independently of the government but works closely with government agencies, including the armed forces.

A statement on its Web site says the agency welcomes Grassley's questions and that it will respond to his requests.