Six Republicans on Thursday voted to confirm Daniel Werfel as IRS commissioner, joining with all but one Democrat to back President Biden’s pick.
Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Susan Collins (Maine), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Todd Young (Ind.) voted to confirm Werfel.
Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) was the only Democrat to vote against Biden’s pick. The centrist had stated his plans to do so earlier this week over concerns with how the Biden administration is implementing the Inflation Reduction Act, which was passed last year.
Manchin acknowledged in a statement that Werfel is “supremely qualified” for the role, but said he has “zero faith he will be given the autonomy to perform the job in accordance with the law.”
The Senate voted 54-42 to confirm Werfel on Thursday.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who is recovering from shingles; Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who is being treated for clinical depression; and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who was hospitalized after a fall Wednesday night, did not vote — nor did Sen. James Risch (R-Idaho).
Biden nominated Werfel in November to replace Charles Rettig as IRS commissioner.
Rettig’s departure means his successor will be tasked with wielding the $80 billion recently allocated by Democrats’ massive reconciliation bill last year to modernize the agency. Republicans have spent months attacking the funding.
Werfel served as acting IRS commissioner in 2013, during the Obama administration, after controversy over the agency’s alleged mismanagement in its determinations on tax-exempt status for some nonprofit organizations. He also worked under the Bush administration with the Office of Financial Stability, according to the White House.
The Senate Finance Committee approved Werfel’s nomination 17-9 last week, after his hearing before the panel. Republicans during the hearing grilled Werfel on how he’d shepherd the agency to use the Inflation Reduction Act funds. daniel