For security reasons, the Statue of Liberty has been closed since the September 11th attacks — more than two-and-a-half years ago. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s angered by reports the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation may not be doing anything with the massive amount of money it’s collected. Grassley says his Senate Finance Committee has been researching the foundation for months. Grassley says “We’ve seen a pattern of these groups sitting on huge endowments, paying executives six-figure salaries and spending relative pennies on their stated missions. Some of these foundations seem to exist only to perpetuate themselves.” On Monday, New York City’s mayor called for the statue to be reopened, even if each tourist has to be escorted by a police officer. Grassley agrees. Grassley says foundation executives are apparently only concerned about furthering their own careers, not reopening the symbol of freedom. The observation deck at the base of the statue is scheduled to reopen in July, but not the statue itself. Grassley says the U.S. Park Service is also partly to blame for giving the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation too much power.Grassley says he’s working to introduce legislation that would bring about tax code reform and more accountability with respect to charitable giving.
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