Budget official Daniel Werfel was appointed Thursday by President Barack Obama as the new acting head of the IRS following Wednesday’s resignation of Steven Miller following reports that the agency flagged and scrutinized the applications of tea party and conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Werfel, 42, is the controller for the Office of Management and Budget. He will begin his new post at the IRS on May 22, according to a statement from Obama.
“Throughout his career working in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Danny has proven an effective leader who serves with professionalism, integrity and skill,” Obama said. “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.”
Werfel’s appointment comes during a tumultuous time at the IRS, with the agency facing charges that it targeted tea party and conservative groups that sought 510(c)(4) tax-exempt designation.
Obama called for and received Miller’s resignation on Wednesday, which the president announced in an address to the nation Wednesday night.
“I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable,” the president said. “It’s inexcusable and Americans have a right to be angry about it and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially not in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has in all of our lives.”
Obama said he learned of the IRS actions on Friday, when the agency’s inspector general report on the matter was leaked to the media.
During a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday, Obama said he did not feel there was a need to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the IRS matter. The investigation is being headed by the Justice Department.
"What I'm absolutely certain of is the actions described in that IG report is unacceptable. ...It is just simply unacceptable for there to be even a hint of ... ideology when it comes to the application of our tax laws," Obama said. "My main concern is fixing a problem, and we began that process yesterday by asking and accepting the resignation of the acting director. We will be putting in new leadership to follow up on the IG audit, get all the facts."