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. Josh

    Obama names another IRS Chief... Himself. Obama will now run the IRS. If you don't like it, you're racist.

    May 16, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. The Real Tom Paine

    Better that having a worthless Bush leftover running things.

    May 16, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. Zappo15

    Obama all this stuff is unimportant. Get a backbone and counter the extremists who are doing their best to prevent a middle course approach to get the country back on its path.

    May 16, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. jokerman

    at first I thought he had appointed the ex-Gator quarterback.

    May 16, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. borko

    Was this just a freak occurrence that belies the true nature of dealings in Libya with American diplomatic efforts, just one glitch in normal standard operating procedure? No, according to former Admiral Lyons and many others such as Glen Beck, who have all uncovered evidence that lead to much more sinister deeds being undertaken. Evidence of a working relationship between the US and its alleged terrorist enemies had already delivered Libya to the Al Qaeda terrorist organization through infiltration of the government, media, and general society prior to the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi that toppled the dictator last year. That the US has worked with Al Qaeda awarding them security contracts for all US embassies and consulates as well as border protection has instead allowed Libya to become a haven for numerous terrorist operators who have automatic access to Libya’s territory to carry out their training. All this with the support and blessing of the Obama administration. This is not only unthinkable, but beyond excuse or rationalization. There should already be indictments for many in the state department, in the DOJ, all the way up to the oval office, yet, so far nothing has been done.

    Treason plain and simple

    It goes even farther than that. Evidence indicates that Ambassador Stevens was being used as an arms dealer to supply Jihadists in the region to support yet another uprising in Syria. Just prior to the murder of our ambassador, he was trying to locate guns that had been walked across Libya’s border to other countries just as the ATF had done in operation Fast and Furious on the border of Mexico. These are not the actions of inexperience or bad intelligence. They are the actions of traitorous intention. President Obama will, no doubt, be linked to these deaths and operations if Congress will only act, and do its duty in prosecuting a treasonous president who is endangering national security.

    There is no where else for a Congressional investigation to turn other than naming the conspirators, determining when officials knew, and assembling the evidence that murder was committed on behalf of the White House to silence those who knew and could testify. Through out the Obama presidency over the last four years the administration has master minded operations that have caused numerous controversies and crises

    May 16, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  6. WilSmith24

    @Just Saying.....The IRS was heading by a BUSH appointee not Obama.

    May 16, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. wallybird1234

    @just sayin' – as if there is someone, ANYone, that Obama could have appointed that you sould have approved.

    He could have appointed one of your "3 Rs" ... Romney Rush or Reagan, and you crybaby conspiracy theorists would still be "outraged." You just like to moan and groan and cry all day like jilted Beiber teeny boppers. That is the modern GOP.

    May 16, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  8. millions

    Best president ever

    May 16, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. adder2us

    Great pick! Even the great Peyton Manning never beat him in fours years.

    May 16, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. millions

    economy on the rise after inept republicans destroyed it

    May 16, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Cheryl

    What is the big deal. I am President of a nonprofit and have to go through audit questions annually to continue having nonprofit status. I for one am glad the IRS scrutinizes organizations like the Tea Party. It is obvious it is a political organization and really should not be tax exempt. This is just another which hunt by the lame Republicans. They are so over!

    May 16, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Winning

    @just sayin:

    Who would you have him appoint? The way your comment reads, literally any single person Obama could appoint would garner your same criticism. Who could he appoint that would satisfy you?

    May 16, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. PudninTane

    Hopefully he'll work out better for the IRS than he did for the Redskins.

    May 16, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. AbrahamLincoln

    I elected President Obama so he could fix problems when they arise..and that's what he does.

    I fully support President Obama.

    May 16, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  15. The Contentious Otter

    No matter who Obama appoints to this position the Republicans complain. At this point Republicans are punch-drunk trying to spin everything into a scandal.

    May 16, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Milhouse

    President Barack Obama named" Danny Werfel", an official in his budget office, as the acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service

    Wasn't he a quarterback for Florida?

    May 16, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  17. John

    Hope he is better IRS Commissioner than he was an NFL Quarterback.

    May 16, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    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.
    The last person to actually head the IRS was a Bush appointee. Look at how that turned out. Pres. Obama has appointed conservatives to positions in the past. What makes you think this man doesn't lean to the right?

    May 16, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Matthew

    Excellent! About time we get a Heisman winner in there!

    May 16, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. randyb1280

    Dude served in both Republican and Democratic assignments...equal opportunity "yes man". I guess that "just sayin" might put in some buffoon who can't add or subtract...maybe super quitter Sarah Palin (former governor of Alaska).

    May 16, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Is this 1996 Heisman winner Danny Werffel? I was wondering what he was up to.

    May 16, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  22. sly

    Good job Mr. President – you acted quickly when learning about these mistakes in the IRS organization.

    Time to move to important issues, such as removing the tax-exempt status for PAC's.

    May 16, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. RB

    Heisman winner Danny Werffel???? I was wondering what he had been up to since he retired...

    May 16, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. E

    He was a lousy quarterback...

    May 16, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Evan

    Looks like the party's over at the IRS and the tea party has just begun. Those tea partiers are going to have a field day until a future IRS decides to audit them (hehe).

    May 16, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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