05/16/2013 11:30 am ET Updated May 17, 2013

Obama To Appoint New Acting IRS Commissioner By End Of Week (UPDATE)

UPDATE: 4:40 p.m. -- Obama named Daniel Werfel as the new acting commissioner of the IRS Thursday afternoon. Werfel, who currently serves as the controller of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), also worked with the Bush administration.

"Throughout his career working in both Democratic and Republican administrations, Danny has proven an effective leader who serves with professionalism, integrity and skill," Obama said in an emailed statement. "The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time."

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama will appoint a new acting commissioner to the Internal Revenue Service this week, a senior administration official confirmed to The Huffington Post.

The news comes a day after the president announced the departure of acting commissioner Steven Miller, as the tax agency has become engulfed in scandal for targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status leading up to the 2012 election.

"It is important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward," Obama said Wednesday in a statement.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew requested Miller's resignation after a Treasury Department inspector general's report released earlier this week found that lower-level IRS staff acted out of incompetence by subjecting groups applying for 501(c)(4) status to greater scrutiny if they had words like "tea party" in their names. The report also found that the targeting was not politically motivated, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for a firm response from the president.

Obama said he had directed Lew to continue investigating the IRS and pledged to "work with Congress as it performs its oversight role" in the process.

Some Republicans have argued that dismissing Miller is not enough, given that the acting commissioner had already been planning to leave his post in June. Nonetheless, it was influential Republican lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who initially demanded Miller's resignation.

At a press conference Thursday, the president rejected calls for a special counsel to investigate the agency.

"I think that it's going to be sufficient for us to be working with Congress. They've got a whole bunch of committees," Obama said, pointing out the IG had produced a report and conducted an audit. He added that Attorney General Eric Holder had also announced a criminal investigation into what happened.

"Between those investigations, I think we're going to be able to figure out exactly what happened, who was involved, what went wrong, and we're going to be able to implement steps to fix it," Obama said. "That, ultimately, is the main priority that I have, but also I think the American people have."

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the second-ranking Democrat in the House, told HuffPost on Wednesday that the administration had acted swiftly and appropriately amid the controversy.

"It was good the president said there's going to be accountability and responsibility," Hoyer said. "And the guy who's the head, like the coach, takes the responsibility. I think it was the appropriate action."

Jennifer Bendery contributed reporting.

This article has been updated with information about events leading up to Miller's resignation, and with comment from Hoyer and further comment from the president.



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