Obama names budget official as acting IRS chief
May 16th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama names budget official as acting IRS chief

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama named Danny Werfel, an official in his budget office, as the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, the White House announced Thursday.

Obama demanded the previous acting commissioner resign Wednesday after revelations the tax agency was applying extra scrutiny to conservative groups asking the government for tax exempt status.

Werfel, who serves as the controller of the Office of Management and Budget, will "lead efforts to ensure the IRS implements new safeguards to restore public trust and administers the tax code with fairness and integrity," the White House said.

He'll serve through the end of the fiscal year, and since he's being tapped to become acting commissioner won't be subject to Senate confirmation.

"Throughout his career working in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Danny has proven an effective leader who serves with professionalism, integrity and skill," Obama wrote in a statement. "The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time."

At the White House budget office, Werfel, 42, was responsible for enacting programs designed to enhance the federal government's integrity in financial management, reporting and accounting. He also helped Obama's administration implement and manage the forced spending cuts that went into effect March 1.

Previously he served in other roles at the OMB, and also acted as an attorney in the civil rights division of the Department of Justice.

He has a law degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a master's in public policy from Duke, the White House said, and received his bachelor's degree from Cornell.

He'll join the IRS as the tax agency weathers its largest scandal in years. Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, have called for criminal charges against those employees responsible for the targeting of conservative groups, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the matter.

Obama again expressed outrage at the IRS's practices at a press conference Thursday.

"We will be putting in new leadership that will be able to make sure that - following up on the [inspector general's] audit - that we gather up all the facts, that we hold accountable those who have taken these outrageous actions," Obama said. "As I said last night, it is just simply unacceptable for there to be even a hint of partisanship or ideology when it comes to the application of our tax laws."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report

Filed under: IRS
soundoff (87 Responses)
  1. just sayin

    another obama yes man to head the irs??? oh yeah... that'll restore americans confidence in the irs! the buffoonery just never ends with this clueless clown.

    May 16, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. Sgt. Obama Schultz - There is nothing here to see, move along

    And I am sure he will do everything in his power to ensure Obama is totally immune from anything that went on in the IRS that was targeting Obama's political opponents. I am also sure he will severely promote, I mean punish, those loyal people, I mean law breakers, that have so damaged the IRS so that Obama re-election campaign could benefit.

    May 16, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. jason b.

    Really, really,...

    His answer was to fire the guy that was leaving in a few weeks anyway and we are supposed to take that seriously.

    I say send those two Ohio auditors to jail and I bet they will sing like canaries to save their own hide, then see how far this goes...

    May 16, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    "another obama yes man to head the irs"

    Who was the first one? The guy appointed by Bush or the other guy appointed by Bush?

    May 16, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. bwco

    Hopefully his next appointment will be a prosecutor to investigate how Bush and his administrator lied to the American people about Iraq.

    May 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Me

    When I first read that I was thinking of the former NFL player Danny Wuerffel

    May 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. Leroy

    Excellent choice Mr. President!

    May 16, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. southbayscott

    Interesting choice. He was a hell of a QB at Florida. Too bad he flamed out in the NFL. I guess a Heisman Trophy goes a long way in politics!

    May 16, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    @just sayin: President Obama could cure cancer, establish peace in the Middle East and walk on water, and you'd still complain.

    He's addressing the problem, but that won't satisfy you. Your comments are worthless.

    May 16, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. loverpoint

    didn't he used to play football ?

    May 16, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. ninevegetable

    It doesn't matter who is appointed or by whom. We all hate the IRS and will continue to do so.

    May 16, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Leon

    How about Danny Wuerffel? HE has integrity...

    May 16, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    he already looks guilty for what corrupt situation he will certainly get into.

    May 16, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. Bryan Johns

    he was a terrible quarterback..

    May 16, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. smartaz

    He was a good QB for the Gators. What? No?

    May 16, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Jason

    At first I thought he had hired the ex Florida Gators QB to take this position ūüėČ

    May 16, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. you cant read

    "just sayin" – another ignorant illiterate conservative. Did you not read:

    1) He has to appoint someone
    2) This guy has worked in the IRS for both Republican and Conservative administrations


    You polarized people never can see anything but what your tiny brains let you...and especially not the mistakes of your benevolent shepherds...one of your beloved conservative parties is an outright disease and on the other is stuck in the stone age...and after you blindly followed the biggest lie ever told to the American people to start an unjust war "cause they's was shootin at my daddy" you follow like sheep...

    May 16, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    Nothing changes.

    May 16, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. roger

    Does everyone feel as confident as I do that this is a wonderful choice that was done in the best interest of the people? Obama can kiss the rest of his term good-bye. He has lost all credibility and the trust of the American public.

    May 16, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. The law

    Tea for two, please.. Clueless is correct..

    May 16, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  21. Impeach Obama

    Clearly Obama's 'most important' agency as the collector of taxes, the IRS is a tattered ship adrift thanks in large part to Obama and his crony's talking them into making things tough on conservative organizations during an election year. Anybody who doesn't think that the Obama Administration was directly responsible for giving the order to the IRS to target conservative groups should have their head examined. Now our incompetent leader fires a guy who was leaving anyway and yanks one of his loyal patsies out of oblivion to oversee the operation. Our country made a mistake electing a man with no experience or credibility, and its good to see that dog finally coming to hunt....

    May 16, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Eric

    Dont worry. The GOP will attempt to block it.

    May 16, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Anderson

    Rudy NYC
    The not so bright person that commented on the Elizabeth Warren's bill on student loans. Just think, the students are getting federal student loans, (directly from the Federal Government – no middle man) do you think they are interest free? In July it will be over 6%, when the big banks borrow at less then 1%. You do not think, stupid!

    May 16, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. borko

    According to a report from the Washington Times, retired 4 Star Admiral James Lyons reveals the entire plot that led to the deaths of Americans in Libya that could have been prevented, who gave the orders, and why events took place as they tragically did. Admiral James Lyons is probably the highest ranking figure ever to intervene in a federal government criminal case, and testify. Thanks to this man‚Äôs dedication to his country and the truth, we will finally know the truth and who was responsible.In his words Lyons says that the attack on Benghazi was a bungled kidnapping attempt to be perpetrated upon Ambassador Stevens. This was to appear to be a hostage exchange for a terrorist prisoner who was to be released in trade for a supposedly captured US ambassador. The trade would have been for Omar Abdel Rahman an international prisoner, known as the Blind Sheikh.This apparent abduction by terrorists of our ambassador and then negotiated trade for the Blind Sheikh would have been the ‚ÄúOctober Surprise‚ÄĚ that would have elevated President Obama‚Äôs flagging popularity and boosted his approval ratings for a re-election. A dramatic prisoner exchange that saved our ambassador‚Äôs life However, something went horribly wrong. A cunning and illegal bit of treachery by the Obama White House turned into something entirely different. Obama‚Äôs October surprise turned into a carnage orchestrated by the White House itself as the President, Leon Panetta, and CIA Director, David Petraeus watched via a UAV real-time feed as a 7 hour attack on the Benghazi Embassy raged. Reportedly, stand down orders were given several times to different units within striking distance.
    A plot of pure deception
    With what should have been only a staged kidnapping of Ambassador J. Christian Stevens, instead, Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty refused a stand down order and began doing their job of protecting the ambassador using force. Immediately the well-trained Seals began inflicting heavy casualties upon the terrorists who thought they were merely in a cake walk to abduct Ambassador Stevens without mishap. As a result of the plan going awry, a massive attack arose from the anger of the terrorists who felt they had been betrayed by President Obama. In the aftermath of the battle which saw Navy Seal Glen Doherty was killed after the embassy had been overrun along with the ambassador’s staff. Ambassador Steven’s whose body showed up 5 hours later at a Benghazi hospital supposedly overcome by smoke as the initial press reports indicated was, in fact, raped, tortured, and dragged around Benghazi in retaliation for the botched Obama White House plan

    May 16, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. WilSmith24

    Well why was I singled out. All my tax papers were in ordered and were even tripled checked and the IRS single me out for reivew, really no clear answer to why and I am not a conversative.....I don't think this was all Conservative Groups pointed out, there been reports that Liberal Groups has been single out as well. Wasn't this IRS guy a GOP Bush appointee?

    May 16, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
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