On Thursday, the U.S. Senate approved Daniel Werfel’s nomination for commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by a vote of 54-42. Werfel promised senators not to expand tax audits of businesses and households earning less than $400,000 annually, and will serve a five-year term as the head of the federal tax collection agency.
Six Republicans voted against their party to support Werfel, while West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin was the lone Democrat to oppose him. Manchin indicated he had no confidence in Werfel to perform the job in accordance with the law.
Joe Biden nominated Werfel to oversee the IRS’s receipt of nearly $80 billion over the next decade under the Inflation Reduction Act. The act, which was passed in August along party lines, will allocate $46 billion to tax law enforcement and the remaining funds to taxpayer services, operations support, and modernized business systems.
The new funding has been criticized by Republicans, who claim the agency will use the funds to hire an armed army of tax agents. IRS officials counter that the funds are already being utilized, announcing on Wednesday that the agency’s digital scanning capabilities have been expanded.