Daily Tax Update - December 10, 2013: Finance Hearing on IRS Commissioner Halted on Procedural Grounds

FINANCE HEARING ON IRS COMMISSIONER HALTED ON PROCEDURAL GROUNDS: Today at the Senate Finance Committee’s hearing on the confirmation of John Koskinen to be the next IRS Commissioner, the hearing was recessed after Republicans objected that the hearing violated a rule that specifies committees need a waiver to meet beginning two hours after the Senate convenes.

In his opening remarks, Chairman Baucus said, “With us today is John Koskinen, the President’s nominee to be the commissioner of internal revenue.  If confirmed, Mr. Koskinen will face many challenges.  The IRS plays an important role in tax reform.  It is key to the Affordable Care Act’s implementation.  And perhaps most importantly, it must win back the American people’s trust.  That means undoing the damage done by the inspector general’s report on the IRS’ handling of 501(c)(4) applications.”  Baucus continued, “He is the right person to take on this challenge, and with filing season approaching, the IRS needs its leader in place. The IRS has been without a confirmed commissioner for more than a year.  Before this year, the longest any nominee for IRS commissioner had waited before confirmation was 100 days.  Mr. Koskinen was nominated 132 days ago.”  Baucus added,  “So now is the time for us to act.  The IRS needs its commissioner.  John Koskinen is the right man for the job, and he deserves broad support from Democrats and Republicans.  I hope we can approve his nomination quickly and take it to the full Senate for a vote.  It’s time we get this done.”

When asked if Koskinen could be confirmed by the end of this year, Baucus said, “I hope so.  I’m going to do my very best.”  Baucus added, “We'll figure out what makes the most sense, what's the best way to move the nomination forward as quickly as possible.”  The hearing will resume tomorrow.