The Washington Examiner reports that President Joe Biden has chosen Danny Werfel as the next Internal Revenue Service commissioner (IRS).
This comes about two weeks after Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced the departure of Charles Rettig, the IRS Commissioner who was appointed by the Trump administration.
Rettig’s departure was not that surprising considering the criticism that he faced, at times, from both the political right and left. Many, however, suspect that the Biden administration’s firing of Rettig, particularly given its timing – just before the midterm elections – was a strategic move designed to put an individual atop the IRS who will push through the Biden administration’s agenda.
This agenda includes modernizing the agency and increasing tax enforcement, which the IRS has been given $80 billion to effectuate. Republicans have opposed the agenda arguing that the likely result is going to be the targeting of middle-class Americans.
The White House announced Biden’s selection of Werfel on Thursday. In a statement, the Biden administration essentially made its case for why Werfel ought to be the next IRS commissioner.
Experience would appear to be the main argument.
The statement points out that Werfel has been in “government service” for over 15 years, serving under multiple administrations, and handling some of “government’s most complex management challenges as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Acting Commissioner and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Controller.”
Additionally, in an attempt to make the nomination of Werfel appeal to both Republicans and Democrats, the statement notes that Werfel served under the administrations of former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Next up, Werfel has to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The timing of all this was chosen to ensure that Democrats can push Werfel through while still controlling the Senate. However, with the Democrats maintaining control over the Senate in the midterm elections, this timing is less critical.
It appears very likely that there will be many Senate Republicans who will be highly critical of Werfel’s nomination.
Nonetheless, it is expected that Werfel will be confirmed as the next commissioner of the IRS.