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Obama Names OMB Controller As Acting IRS Commissioner


President Obama has named a new acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service. His name is Daniel Werfel. He replaces Steven Miller, who resigned from that post amid revelations that the IRS inappropriately targeted conservative groups.

Werfel has served both President Obama and former President George W. Bush, at the White House Office of Management and Budget. And we have more on the new head of the IRS here, from NPR's John Ydstie.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Werfel currently holds the position of controller at the OMB. He's been described as a green-eyeshades guy, and has been the central figure instructing federal agencies on how to comply with the across-the-board budget cuts of the sequester. During the Bush administration, he rose through several high-level positions at OMB. President Obama named him controller in 2009.

A statement from the White House said that as acting commissioner, Mr. Werfel will lead efforts to ensure the IRS implements new safeguards to restore public trust.

Yesterday, a second top-level IRS official, Joseph Grant, said he will step down. Grant headed the tax exempt and government entities division, which vetted applications for nonprofit status, singling out for scrutiny groups with words like Tea Party and Constitution in their names. An IRS statement, issued Thursday, said Grant plans to retire June 3.

John Ydstie, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

John Ydstie has covered the economy, Wall Street, and the Federal Reserve at NPR for nearly three decades. Over the years, NPR has also employed Ydstie's reporting skills to cover major stories like the aftermath of Sept. 11, Hurricane Katrina, the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. He was a lead reporter in NPR's coverage of the global financial crisis and the Great Recession, as well as the network's coverage of President Trump's economic policies. Ydstie has also been a guest host on the NPR news programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition. Ydstie stepped back from full-time reporting in late 2018, but plans to continue to contribute to NPR through part-time assignments and work on special projects.