Key GOP chairman praises Trump's IRS nominee following meeting

Key GOP chairman praises Trump's IRS nominee following meeting
© Greg Nash

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchLighthizer to testify before Senate next week as trade war ramps up Senators introduce bipartisan bill to improve IRS Senate panel advances Trump IRS nominee MORE (R-Utah) on Thursday met with Trump's nominee to lead the IRS, Chuck Rettig, and spoke favorably about the pick afterwards.

“With its history of scandals and continuing challenges, the IRS needs a full-time leader who understands the scale of these issues and will work with Congress to modernize and improve the agency, bringing it into the 21st century," Hatch said in a statement. "Chuck Rettig fits the bill."

"Further, Chuck is committed to making certain that the IRS implements tax reform in an appropriate and timely manner, which is essential to ensuring all of the new law’s potential benefits are realized," Hatch added. 

Rettig, a Beverly Hills tax attorney, was nominated by Trump to be IRS commissioner in February.

The Senate Finance Committee is in the midst of vetting Rettig, having only received his full paperwork earlier this month.

While it could still take some time before Rettig is confirmed, lawmakers and tax experts say they hope he is sworn in in short order, given the agency's key role in implementing the GOP tax law. Lawmakers are also working to improve the IRS's technology and customer service and are interested in having a permanent leader of the IRS to be a partner in those efforts.

"Given the critical work that lies ahead, I hope we can continue the vetting process in a quick and fair manner,” Hatch said.

If confirmed, Rettig would succeed Obama appointee John Koskinen, whose term ended in November and who some House Republicans tried to impeach. David Kautter, an assistant secretary in Trump's Treasury Department, has been serving as acting IRS commissioner for the past several months.