January 16th, 2010
10:39 AM ET
4 years ago

Congress readies bill to encourage Americans to donate to Haiti relief

Washington (CNN) - Congress is rushing to pass a bill that would allow Americans to write off donations for Haiti disaster relief on last year's tax returns, instead of waiting until next year to deduct their charitable contributions.

Lawmakers hope it will encourage more Americans to help fund aid efforts in the devastated nation. Republican and Democratic leadership aides in the House and Senate tell CNN they expect the bill will pass easily and quickly, possibly as soon as next week. House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York; and Minority Whip Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, introduced a bill Friday that would apply to donations that have already been made and to donations for Haiti relief that are made before March 1.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Montana, and Ranking Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa announced their intention Friday to introduce a similar bill once the Senate returns on Tuesday.

Congress passed similar legislation in 2005 to encourage charitable donations following the tsunami that devastated nations on the Indian Ocean in December 2004.


Filed under: Congress • Haiti
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. D.H

    For those Countries who complain a lot; by saying, America didn't do this and that, you have to let AMERICA to govern you and you wull be a part of the solution, 50 States +

    January 16, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Steve in North Carolina

    I though we already contributed with all of the tax dollars the President and the Congress are spending on that place. The witch doctors and thugs who run that country sincerely appreciate our efforts.

    January 16, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Fooled Again

    Het Congress, we're broke. You sent all our jobs overseas, gave our children's money to the banks and you keep funding illegal wars.

    Stop those things and we would have something to give. We're a generous people, but you stole our money

    January 16, 2010 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Dodd Democrat...

    If only they worked just as hard to encourage the President to stop giving our Health Insurance away to the Pharmaceutical companies and Insurance Companies..........

    January 16, 2010 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  5. Fitz in Texas

    I've donated to The Red Cross in an effort to help the people of Haiti. I'm leaving Congress out of it. Why let them take all the credit.

    January 16, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  6. Silence Dogoode

    We do NOT need you to urge us to assist those in need. What we HIRED you to do was run the federal government. Quit wasting my time and tax dollars with this useless, feel good about yourselves crap and get bag to your jobs!!!! Both parties need top knock it off!!!!

    January 16, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Marion/Birmingham,Al

    Haiti is a nation of 4 million people,how much help do they really need?We do not need to adopt them,they are already so use to government assistance they can not do for them selves.Maybe some birth control pills so they can stop having children they can not afford to feed?Maybe a government that is not corrupt with a decent police or military force to stop the thugs and gangs from taking from the people?

    January 16, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Tom D.

    Keep Congress out of it. Let "We the People" do the job right. Congress is sure to screw something up if they fiddle with it. There are plenty of people helping without the coercion on government.

    January 16, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. j

    Really? They're wasting my tax dollars on this instead of doing something that really matters. People that want to donate are already donating and people that don't aren't going to just because Congress encourages them to do so.

    January 16, 2010 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Ms S Callahan

    Interesting. Thank God for Christians who have been the feet, legs, and voice on Haitian land before the government could figure out how to unload a plane. Haven't you heard....Red Cross, BGEA, Doctors without Borders....donations to the private 'helping' groups have skyrocketed!!

    January 16, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  11. If you want something ruined, put a democrat in charge

    The bill isn't needed. People donate because they want to help, not for a deduction for charitable contributions. Also, didn't Obama try to take away deductions for charitable contributions several months ago?

    January 16, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  12. strong

    IWhy doesn't Washington take some of the "war" money and donate it to Haiti instead? That war money is basically our money anyways.

    Stop milking the average American for more money. We are stretched financially ....... I do feel for the Haitians though.

    January 16, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  13. vette gal

    This just shows how OUT OF TOUCH congress is with the problems of our country. Most americans don't have enough money to make their house payments or put food on their table, yet congress thinks by giving a paltry tax deduction they'll encourage those same people to donate.

    Being one of the lucky ones, I've already donated as much as I could to the Red Cross. I, for one, am voting against every incumbent that's up for re-election both in my state and nationally. It's time to clean house and get some politicians voted in that actually know what's going on.

    January 16, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Trang

    The way charitable dedtuctions can be deducted is if you itemize your deductions. If you want everyone to benefit taxpayers, then change it before arriving at adjusted income. But I doubt if there is that change .... the government needs to collect their money too.

    January 16, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. JD

    With the millions that 0bama's pledged to Haiti, I'd say all of us taxpayers have already donated. I'd like to give more, but with the tax increases that the Dems have in store for me and mine, along with my pay cuts and hour cuts and the rising inflation, I have no choice but to keep my wallet closed.

    January 16, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Dean

    We would probably donate if Obama would find us jobs.

    January 16, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. Bing Hastings

    I'm surprised Obama isn't requiring the bailed-out banks to give millions direct to Haiti.

    January 16, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. Willy Brown

    I'll be glad to donate the democrat Obamacare health bill. With over 2000 pages it could be used to start lot's of camp fires.

    January 16, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |