Senate confirms Trump's nominee for key IRS role

Senate confirms Trump's nominee for key IRS role
© UPI Photo

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpMueller report findings could be a 'good day' for Trump, Dem senator says Trump officials heading to China for trade talks next week Showdown looms over Mueller report MORE’s nominee to be chief counsel at the IRS, giving the administration a full, permanent team in place at the agency.

Michael Desmond, a California tax lawyer who formerly worked at the Treasury Department and in the Tax Division of the Justice Department, was confirmed as IRS chief counsel in a bipartisan vote of 83-15.

ADVERTISEMENT

The IRS chief counsel plays a key role in guidance issued by the agency and is one of only two positions at the IRS that requires Senate confirmation, the other being IRS commissioner.

Trump’s nominee to be IRS commissioner, Charles Rettig, started in that role in October. There has not been a Senate-confirmed chief counsel since the start of Trump’s administration.

Desmond's confirmation comes as the IRS is currently working on developing a multitude of regulations to implement the tax-cut law Trump signed in December 2017.

Senators on both sides of the aisle supported Desmond’s nomination, viewing him as qualified for the job.

“Mr. Desmond has put his legal expertise to work through years of public service,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellConservatives wage assault on Mueller report Overnight Energy: Interior reverses decision at heart of Zinke criminal probe | Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change | GM to add 400 workers to build electric cars Trump: Green New Deal 'the most preposterous thing' and 'easy to beat' MORE (R-Ky.).

Still, Desmond received 15 "no" votes — all from Democrats and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (I-Vt.), who caucuses with the Democrats.

The "no" votes included several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sanders and Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Booker endorses New Jersey marijuana legalization bill MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisKamala Harris to pitch using federal funds to give teachers pay raises Dem senator: 'Appropriate' for Barr, Mueller to testify publicly about Russia probe Here's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report MORE (Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHere's what the Dem candidates for president said about the Mueller report Booker takes early lead in 2020 endorsements Harris wants Barr to testify on Mueller report as 2020 Dems call for its release MORE (Mass.).

Also of note was the opposition from Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange William Barr is right man for the times MORE (D-N.J.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, who is upset about IRS guidance designed to block blue states’ workarounds to the tax law’s $10,000 cap on the state and local tax deduction.