White House Names New Acting IRS Chief

The White House chooses Danny Werfel, an OMB official who has served presidents of both parties.

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The White House on Thursday announced that it would appoint Danny Werfel, controller of the Office of Management and Budget, to be the new acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

[READ: Obama Fires IRS Chief in Wake of Scandal]

The new choice comes less than 24 hours after the president received the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller. Miller resigned in the wake of news that employees of a Cincinnati, Ohio, IRS office were targeting conservative political groups.

The administration said that the move is designed to regain citizens' trust in the nation's tax collector and enforcer.

"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," said President Obama in a statement on the move.

 

The IRS's misstep has drawn criticism from both parties, particularly from Republicans, who on Thursday asked for a further investigation into the matter. Amid this firestorm of criticism, the administration is trying to strike a tone of bipartisan outreach in choosing Werfel. Both President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew emphasized Werfel's Republican and Democratic credentials in their statements on the matter.

Lew characterized Werfel as "an immensely talented and dedicated public servant who has ably served presidents of both parties" and added that Werfel is "a familiar face on Capitol Hill" from testifying at many hearings.

[BROWSE: Political Cartoons on the IRS Scandal]

Obama said that among Werfel's duties would be to "lead efforts to ensure the IRS implements new safeguards" to bolster the bureau's public standing.

While Werfel comes from outside the IRS, it is not unusual for commissioners to arrive from elsewhere. Douglas Shulman, who served from 2008 through 2012, had come from FINRA, a nongovernmental financial industry regulator. And Mark Everson, who served as commissioner from 2003 through 2007, came to the bureau from OMB, like Werfel.

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