Republican senator: New IRS commissioner a ‘White House insider,’ will do ‘absolutely nothing’ to restore public trust

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
Font Size:

Republican U.S. senator John Cornyn of Texas blasted the Obama administration’s appointment of Daniel Werfel, a senior official at the Office of Management and Budget, to take over as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Cornyn called Werfel a “White House insider” who will do “absolutely nothing” to restore the public’s trust in the scandal-plagued government agency.

“With trust in the federal government at an all-time low, placing a White House insider in charge of an agency whose leadership willfully misled Congress and targeted American people for exercising free speech does absolutely nothing to restore the public’s confidence in Washington,” Cornyn said in a statement following the announcement Thursday that Werfel will take over as acting commissioner next week.

Werfel, 42, will replace previous IRS acting commissioner Steven T. Miller, who was fired by Obama Wednesday after an IRS official apologized for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofit groups between 2010 and 2012.

Werfel, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, a law degree from the University of North Carolina, and a master’s in public policy from Duke, worked as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division before working his way up at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where he has served as OMB controller since 2009.

Werfel served as the Obama administration’s “point man” on sequestration.

The IRS also canceled a planned softball game with Cornyn’s office that was scheduled for Friday.

“Team Cornyn softball team was scheduled to play the IRS team on Friday, ‘the Cheetahs.’ Game has been cancelled by IRS, without rescheduling,” Cornyn wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.

Follow Patrick on Twitter