Obama names budget official as acting IRS chief
May 16th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
11 months 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. ryanWI

    Considering these problems started under a Bush appointee, it will be a relief to get an Obama man in the seat.

    May 16, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Seriously...

    There are 4 million government employees–obama keeps his eye on all of them? honestly...check out werfels career–pretty impressive... your career and educational background?.... and while you are at it–check out the rebound in housing prices, the stock mkt, cash on hand for us corps and cbo's esitmate of deficit reduction this year...from potential global crash in 2008 with bush to a decent rebound... 3 people in Cincy equal Obama buffoonery ? i'd really love to know what you do for a living ...in fact i'd love to know what book you read last...it would tell me a great deal about you ....hey did you get audited with your tea party friends when you applied for tax exempt status as a social group? simply hilarious....

    May 16, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. cedaly1968

    @just sayin – Obama could nominate Jesus Christ and it wouldn't satisfy Americans who simply don't like him.

    May 16, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. T Freeze

    Danny Werfel??? Didn't he play quarterback at Florida and win the Heisman? He's perfect!

    May 16, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  5. organically

    Come on folks, do you really think the IRS and Benghazi are both some kind of Obama conspiracy or cover up? This type of conservative radical thinking is so damaging to America. Granted, both were bad information sharing, management and policy. Let’s talk about fixing these polices rather than tearing down the whole executive branch of government. That's what's good for America, not the delusional paranoia that conservatives love to exude with every federal misstep.

    May 16, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Evan

    @just sayin, that "yes man" was recommended by those in the Bush administration. Big fail in politics, but not knowing politics is hardly a sin in today's corrupt D.C. so don't sweat it.

    May 16, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. huh?

    The football player?

    May 16, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Sheila

    So Obama appointed another of his crony budget insiders to head the IRS?

    He should have appointed a Republican. It would have been his best strategy, PR wise. Now, he's left himself open to future issues and accusations.

    May 16, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. Me

    When I saw the name I thought it was the Florida Gator QB from the 90's that won the Heisman. He probably would've been a better choice!

    May 16, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. mark

    Grew up with Dan. One of my closest friends as a kid and now as an adult. He is honest to a fault and you couldnt find someone with more integrity. The rest of the administration and politicians in washington should be like him.

    May 16, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Jeff Cox

    Not sure what winning the Heisman at U. of Florida will do for him running the IRS. We'll see.

    May 16, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. werewolf1

    You need to get rid of the IRS,but the Congress would have none of that.

    May 16, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. megin

    Maybe IRS, HHS, EPA and all others should be elected instead of appointed.

    May 16, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. Scott

    The possible name confusion with the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback, Danny Wuerffel, won't hurt as Wuerffel is highly regarded for his humanitarian work.

    May 16, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. MGB2012

    Just Saying it sounds like no matter what President Obama would have done, it wasn't going to satisfy you.

    But then your not the President, so get over. To me it sounds like the President did what needed to be done to restore confidence in the IRS in appointing a qualified and capable individual that has served in both republican and now democratic administration given the situation at hand.

    May 16, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Joe P Zyck

    Gosh, who knew that the Tea Party would deserve a tax exemption because they are not a political organization? I would hate to think that the Internal Revenue Service would actually want to verify this claim.

    May 16, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  17. Michael A. (Wake Forest, NC)

    "just sayin",

    First of all show some respect, second, give an honest solution OR 3rd... Shut up!!

    May 16, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Smeagel4T

    It's about time the Bush appointees were dismissed from the IRS.

    May 16, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  19. rudolf vs

    Public trust?
    I seriously doubt anyone can possible restore anything that the IRS never had in the first place,

    May 16, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  20. PaulCat

    I think all Republicans should go home to their wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend or whatever and have a good night. That's all they need. Maybe tomorrow they'll be much happier. Not so angry. It works wonders.

    May 16, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. just askin

    He also helped Obama's administration implement and manage the forced spending cuts that went into effect March 1.
    -----

    ok, so he did obama's bidding in causing as much pain and suffering for the american people a shumanely possible. yup, he's qualified to lead the irs! run for your lives people. run for your lives.

    May 16, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. bspurloc

    Yeah never mind the Bush appointee Douglas Shulman was in charge of the IRS during this scandal...
    but facts dont matter to foxfax and the gop

    May 16, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  23. THE TRUTH

    Tripe falls from your pie hole uncontrollably does it not? you talk to people with that thing?

    May 16, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Sportsguy

    Danny Werfel? I mean, he had a few good years as a Gator quarterback and did snag the Heisman, but he'll get crushed by the lack of offensive line with the IRS...

    May 16, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. THE TRUTH

    Your a sad man, just sad, now you blog, then answer in another name, dude, i feel bad for you, i really do. maybe if you were not so misleading, and racist, people might accept you more. i would suggest some consuling

    May 16, 2013 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
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