Houston Chronicle

Senate vote confirms Werfel as IRS leader

- By Fatima Hussein

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday confirmed Daniel Werfel to serve as IRS commission­er by a vote of 54-42.

Werfel, who pledged before senators not to expand tax audits on businesses and households making less than $400,000 per year, will serve a five-year term.

The approval came after the Senate agreed a day earlier to move to a final vote on Werfel’s nomination, with six Republican­s breaking party ranks to back him and a lone Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voting against him.

“While Daniel Werfel is supremely qualified to serve as the IRS commission­er, I have zero faith he will be given the autonomy to perform the job in accordance with the law,” Manchin said in a statement.

President Joe Biden nominated Werfel to steer the IRS as it receives nearly $80 billion over the next 10 years through the Inflation Reduction Act.

Previously a private consultant who led Boston Consulting Group’s global public sector practice, Werfel faced rounds of questions before the Senate Finance Committee last month on how he would spend the agency’s new infusion of money. He drew praise for being willing to leave a private consulting job to take on the top job at the troubled agency.

Werfel will have to navigate controvers­y surroundin­g the new funding, as critics have distorted how the new law would affect the IRS. About $46 billion was allocated for enforcing tax laws and the rest for taxpayer services, operations support and updated business systems.

Republican­s have suggested without evidence that the agency would use the new money to hire an army of tax agents with weapons.

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