Obama Appoints OMB’s Werfel as Acting IRS Commissioner

President Barack Obama appointed Danny Werfel, controller of the White House budget office, as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

Werfel on May 22 will replace Steven Miller, who was forced to resign yesterday following disclosure of the agency’s selective scrutiny of small-government groups seeking tax-exempt status.

“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,” Obama said in a statement released by the White House today.

Werfel, 42, will serve until the fiscal year ends Sept. 30, the White House said. The acting IRS commissioner position doesn’t require Senate confirmation.

Obama hasn’t nominated a permanent commission since the term of Douglas Shulman, a George W. Bush appointee, ended in November.

OMB Controller

Werfel was confirmed as controller of the Office of Management and Budget in October 2009. He is in charge all federal programs on financial reporting, curbing improper payments, selling surplus government property and streamlining government purchasing and information technology programs.

The IRS announced today that a second official will leave the agency. Joseph Grant, who oversees tax-exempt organizations and government entities, will retire June 3, according to an IRS memo.

Grant had been appointed to his position on May 8. At the time, Miller issued a statement saying Grant would “provide strong leadership and continuity.”

Grant was previously the deputy commissioner over tax-exempt groups and government entities. He is a former member of the Democratic staff of the House Ways and Means Committee, according to the memo.

At a news conference earlier today, Obama said he wasn’t aware of the IRS matter before the counsel’s office was informed April 22.

“The minute I found out about it, then my main focus is making sure that we get the thing fixed,” he said in the White House Rose Garden.

Obama also said the IRS inspector general would be seeking a further investigation.

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