Obama names budget official as acting IRS chief
May 16th, 2013
03:15 PM ET
9 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. California Gary

    @just sayin........who would you suggest he put in there? A Romney guy? A Bush flunky? Or someone he knows and has confidence in.......you should really come up with a better reason to call the POTUS a buffoon and clueless clown than this appointment. Seems kind of "buffoonish" and "clueless" of you........

    May 16, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC


    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!
    I'm sorry. I apologize for your missing my point. I was actually agreeing with Warren's position for lower rates for students. The reason that it is as high as it is, is because of the middle men and a congress who will not allow a lower rate. I pointed out just how much profit there was in it for the private sector, due to the higher rates.

    May 16, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Thomas

    I hope he demands congress define what a non profit politacal group is , then tax them.

    The political non profit for profit tax exemption is a scam . Ask Jack Abramoff.

    May 16, 2013 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Frank

    A yes man, NO, but he would still get more accomplished than the DO NOTHING REBUBLICANS who crashed and burned in the last election. Americans clearly have no confidense in the Republicans who have done absolutly nothing to help hard working Americans and the economy. Pass some laws Boehner!

    May 16, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The demcorats are proving how corrupt they really are.

    Yes democrats your chit does in fact stink.

    May 16, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. rampart ranger

    Werfil was the guy who, on the eve of the election, counseled the US government to violate the law requiring advance notice of lay-offs, saying "it wasn't necessary." This helped the WH to avoid responsibility for the Obama/Jack Lew Sequestration nonsense. In the week before the election. He's just another White House hack with no respect for the Law.

    May 16, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  7. What Now

    @California Gary....I truly don't believe that the President could have selected anyone that would be acceptable to some on the far right. There purpose in life is to always disagree. Same tactic as many in Congress. It is so sad that cooperation has become such a dirty word.

    May 16, 2013 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Data Driven

    A little OT, but...

    Hey, Democrats in Congress, feel free to defend the leader of your party. There has been next-to-zero pushback on this sudden barrage of mostly meatless scandals. I've heard from Pelosi and that's it. I've been reminded this week shy I'm not a registered Democrat.

    May 16, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  9. luvlar

    But, IT"S A WHITE GUY!!! How can that be? I'm sure the NAACP and the feminists will have something to say about that.

    May 16, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. BlackMe

    Obama should not be able to appoint anyone because there is preception that he ordered this politically motivated scandal

    May 16, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Wow haha...so funny...he fires Miller and the GOPers/Teatrolls find a way to get butthurt about it because he took away their ability to flame him for not firing Miller. Yawn yawn YAWN.

    May 16, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    The demcorats are proving how corrupt they really are.

    Yes democrats your chit does in fact stink.
    That is the best you can come up with? How old are you? Does your mom know you are here?

    May 16, 2013 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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