Bloomberg Tax
March 2, 2023, 8:15 PM

Senate Finance Advances Werfel’s Nomination for IRS Commissioner

Naomi Jagoda
Naomi Jagoda
Senior Reporter

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday advanced Danny Werfel’s nomination to be IRS commissioner, putting Werfel one step closer to leading the agency.

The panel advanced the nomination by a bipartisan vote of 17-9. Three Republicans voted for Werfel: Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, and Todd Young of Indiana, The committee voted off of the Senate floor after it failed to achieve a quorum during its scheduled morning markup.

Werfel’s nomination now heads to the full Senate, where he needs to be confirmed by a simple majority.

During Werfel’s Feb. 15 confirmation hearing, lawmakers asked him questions about his plans for implementation of the $80 billion the IRS received in the Inflation Reduction Act, among other topics.

Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) praised Werfel as a “rule-follower.”

“He’s going to do this job consistent with the law, and he made it clear he’s going to work with both sides of this committee,” Wyden said in his opening remarks.

Republicans who voted against Werfel expressed frustration that the IRS has not provided more specificity about how the agency is going to spend the funds. The agency missed a Feb. 17 deadline to submit a plan to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in his opening statement that the missed deadline was “not inspiring when it comes to regaining the confidence of the American people.”

But even those who voted against Werfel said they appreciated his willingness to take the IRS commissioner position, and GOP opposition to Werfel was not unanimous.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who did not vote, said Werfel “understands there are a lot of structural changes that we need to make with the IRS to make it more constituent-focused.”

Werfel served as acting IRS commissioner in 2013, and has also worked in the past at the Office of Management and Budget. He joined Boston Consulting Group following his time at the IRS.

He is nominated for the remainder of a five-year term that expires Nov. 12, 2027. Former commissioner Chuck Rettig’s term expired in November 2022.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Jagoda at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kim Dixon at; Alex Clearfield at

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