- The Washington Times
Thursday, November 10, 2022

President Biden on Thursday nominated Danny Werfel to serve as the head of the Internal Revenue Service, where he would oversee the agency’s largest expansions in decades.

Mr. Werfel, who is a managing director at Boston Consulting Group, previously served as acting IRS commissioner under President Obama. He also served as controller of the Office of Management in Budget in the Obama White House.

While serving as acting IRS commissioner in 2013, Mr. Werfel took over an agency reeling from scandal after it admitted that it had been aggressively scrutinizing conservative groups. It has also targeted some liberal groups but in smaller numbers.

Mr. Werfel suspended Lois Lerner, who headed the IRS division that targeted the groups. She later resigned just before an accountability board was set to remove her.

Those efforts to reform the IRS after the scandal may earn him some goodwill from congressional Republicans.

Mr. Biden is feeling pressure to get his nominee through the Senate before Jan. 1, when Democrats may no longer control the chamber depending on the outcome of the yet-to-be-tallied midterm elections. 

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The IRS has become a GOP punching back and a Republican-controlled Senate will likely closely scrutinize the president’s nominee.

“I strongly support President Biden’s intent to nominate Daniel Werfel to serve as the next Commissioner of the IRS. Danny’s prior service under both Democratic and Republican administrations, his deep management experience, and his work directing significant transformation efforts make him uniquely qualified to lead the agency at this critical juncture,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement.

If confirmed, Mr. Werfel will take over a newly beefed up IRS, infused with more than $80 billion in funding through Mr. Biden’s massive climate and tax law. Any new commissioner will be tasked with deploying the funding and organizing the agency, which has been plagued with staffing shortages for over a decade.

Under the law, the IRS will add 87,000 new agents to chase down tax cheats to boost revenue for the federal government. Some of the funds will go towards modernizing technology, auditing wealthy Americans and improving customer service.

Mr. Werfel is poised to replace IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, who announced late last month that he would be leaving the agency.

In a lengthy letter sent Thursday to employees, Mr. Rettig hailed workers for their hard work and dedication.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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