Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D-GA) win in Georgia’s runoff election earlier this week will give Senate Democrats more leverage to pursue a number of priorities, including confirming Daniel Werfel to serve as the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Senate Democrats’ 51-seat majority in the 118th Congress gives Democrats control over committees, meaning Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee will be unable to stall a nomination vote on Werfel by refusing to provide a quorum. Republicans have been highly critical of the $80 billion funding increase the IRS received earlier this year in the Inflation Reduction Act to ramp up tax enforcement, among other priorities.
President Biden nominated Werfel last month to serve as the next IRS commissioner. Werfel, who currently works at the Boston Consulting Group, has a long history of government service in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations and served as acting IRS commissioner in 2013, taking over after top agency officials resigned over a controversy involving the scrutiny of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) has already praised Werfel as an “excellent nominee.”
“Americans interact with the IRS more than any other federal agency and I’m confident [Werfel] will effectively deploy the new resources approved by Congress to better serve American taxpayers and ensure the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations pay the taxes they owe,” Wyden said last month. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to move his nomination as quickly as possible.”