Daniel Werfel replaces Miller as acting IRS commissioner

May 16, 2013
Daniel Werfel (EPA)
Daniel Werfel (EPA)

Daniel Werfel, a senior official at the Office of Management and Budget, has been named acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, according to a White House official.

President Obama announced Wednesday that acting commissioner Steven Miller had stepped down amidst a scandal in which the IRS targeted conservative groups.

It is not clear whether Werfel will be nominated to fill the vacancy full-time, but he is considered to have a good relationship with Senate Republicans and has won confirmation from from the upper chamber before.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said he wasn’t familiar with Werfel but would be open to considering him as a permanent commissioner.

“If I was the president I would find the very best business man I possibly could who’d be willing to take it over and have the authority to be able to straighten the mess out,” Hatch said. “I don’t know whether Werfel has that kind of dimension or not, but I hope he does.”

Werfel was confirmed as controller of OMB in 2009. He held various positions at OMB prior to that and has also served as an attorney in the Justice Department's civil rights division.

More recently, he has been helping the Obama administration manage the automatic spending cuts contained in the sequester. In 2011, he prepared the government for a potential shutdown, figuring out which services would remain and which would cease.

Werfel attended law school at the University of North Carolina and a Master's Degree from Duke University.

Werfel shares a very similar name with former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Danny Wuerffel. In 2009, then-OMB director Peter Orszag wrote a blog post clarifying that they two men, in fact, were not one and the same.

This post has been updated. Ed O'Keefe contributed.

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