Departure puts Senate confirmation on front burner

Departure puts Senate confirmation on front burner

The Senate Finance Committee has stepped up plans to consider the nomination of Mark Everson as the next IRS commissioner.

In light of John Reece's recent announcement that he will step down as the service's CIO, the committee needs to conduct Everson's hearings 'ASAP,' a committee staff member said. Although it's still gathering paperwork for the nomination, the committee plans to hold hearings next month.

The CIO and the commissioner are expected to work more closely than ever because of the Bush administration's push to consolidate federal financial systems and complete tax systems modernization, the staff member said.

Currently, Everson is the Office of Management and Budget's deputy director for management and leads efforts to merge government financial systems under the President's Management Agenda. President Bush nominated him earlier this year to become IRS commissioner [see story at].

Everson has been OMB deputy director for almost two years and has worked with the transition team for the new Homeland Security Department. Previously, he was controller of OMB's Office of Federal Financial Management.

The committee's leaders want to get a commissioner in place as soon as possible and thinks the administration has been dragging its feet, the staff member said.

The White House knew that former IRS commissioner Charles Rossotti's five-year term would end last year, but they didn't move quickly enough to avoid a vacancy in the post, he said. Rossotti left the post in November.

The committee's chairman, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), repeatedly pestered the White House on nominating someone 'because we didn't want to have a gap in service,' the staff member said. 'We wrote months and months and months ago.'

OMB officials had no comment.


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