December 11,2013

Press Contact:

Sean Neary/Ryan Carey: 202-224-4515

Baucus Calls on Koskinen to Rebuild Public Trust as IRS Commissioner

Finance Chairman Urges IRS Chief Nominee to Focus on Health Care, Tax Reform

WASHINGTON –At a Senate Finance Committee hearing today to consider John Koskinen’s nomination to be the commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said that the next IRS commissioner must work diligently to ensure the agency moves past the controversy over alleged political targeting to take on its numerous other responsibilities.  

“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.,” Senator Baucus said. “Mr. Koskinen has a history of succeeding in demanding roles: At Freddie Mac in the heat of the financial crisis.  At the helm of the District of Columbia’s financial turnaround in the early 2000s.  As a turnaround artist in the private sector.  Even as the leader of the team that addressed Y2k concerns. He is the right person to take on this challenge, and with filing season approaching, the IRS needs its leader in place.”

Senator Baucus noted the crucial role of the IRS in implementing the Affordable Care Act and commended the agency for the work and preparation it has done so far. Among other responsibilities, the IRS will assist an estimated 17 million people who qualify for health insurance subsidies under the law.

Senator Baucus also emphasized the important input the IRS can provide to the Finance Committee’s ongoing effort to reform the tax code.

Koskinen has a track record of taking on challenging positions in government, most recently as Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from 2008 to 2011 and acting CEO in 2009. Previously, Koskinen was Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2003, Assistant to the President and Chair of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion from 1998 to 2000, and Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997.  He also has extensive experience in the private sector.

The Finance Committee will vote Friday on Koskinen’s nomination and, if approved, it will then go to the full Senate for consideration.