In what could be viewed as the latest chapter in the IRS scandal, President Barack Obama nominated the former chief of mortgage giant Freddie Mac -- a leader with a record of handling troubled organizations -- to run the Internal Revenue Service.
Obama announced Thursday the nomination of John Koskinen to be the new commissioner of the IRS, which is under investigation by Congress and the Justice Department for improperly targeting Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations.
If confirmed by the Senate, Koskinen would replace acting IRS Commissioner Daniel Werfel, who recently replaced acting commissioner Steven Miller – who was ousted less than a month before his interim term had expired.
In a statement, Obama made a vague reference to the IRS scandal talking about “difficult times” and “integrity.”
“John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform,” Obama said. “With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances. Every part of our government must operate with absolute integrity and that is especially true for the IRS. I am confident that John will do whatever it takes to restore the public’s trust in the agency.”
The planned shakeup occurs a day after White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the IRS controversy is one of the things Obama was referring to when he said “phony scandals.”
According to the White House, Koskinen served as non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac from 2008 to 2011 and acting CEO in 2009. This was the period after the housing bust and financial crisis.
From 2004 to 2008, Koskinen was the president of the United States Soccer Foundation. Before that he was deputy mayor and city administrator of Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2003. He also served in the Clinton administration as assistant to the president and chairman of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion from 1998 to 2000, and deputy director for management for the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997.
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