The Senate Finance Committee today voted to advance the nominations of Michael Desmond for IRS Chief Counsel (by a vote of 25 to 2) and Justin Muzinich for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury (by a vote of 14 to 13).
The Finance Committee will advance the nominations to the full Senate for a possible confirmation vote. It is unclear when the Senate will consider the nominations.
In a statement released this morning, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) stated: “…I plan to hold all Treasury nominees until the Department quits stonewalling our oversight requests. For that reason, if Mr. Muzinich’s nomination is reported out of committee, I will place a hold on its debate on the floor.”
The IRS Chief Counsel is appointed by the president, with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate, and serves as the chief legal advisor to the IRS Commissioner on all matters pertaining to the interpretation, administration, and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as all other legal matters. Under the IRS Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, the IRS Chief Counsel reports to both the IRS Commissioner and the Treasury General Counsel.
Attorneys in the Chief Counsel’s Office serve as lawyers for the IRS. They provide the IRS and taxpayers with guidance on interpreting federal tax laws correctly, represent the IRS in litigation, and provide all other legal support required to carry out the IRS mission.
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