Senate confirms Trump's nominee for key IRS role

Senate confirms Trump's nominee for key IRS role
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The Senate on Wednesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments 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.

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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 McConnellDemocratic challenger to Joni Ernst releases ad depicting her as firing gun at him Senate confirms eight Trump court picks in three days The case for censuring, and not impeaching, Donald Trump MORE (R-Ky.).

Still, Desmond received 15 "no" votes — all from Democrats and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg draws fresh scrutiny, attacks in sprint to Iowa MORE (I-Vt.), who caucuses with the Democrats.

The "no" votes included several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sanders and Democratic Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment Booker: Primary voters 'being denied' their candidates of choice MORE (N.J.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandHarris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day Warren hits Bloomberg, Steyer: They have 'been allowed to buy their way' into 2020 race Supreme Court poised to hear first major gun case in a decade MORE (N.Y.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Poll: Majority of voters name TV as primary news source Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president MORE (Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharCastro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Klobuchar lauds power of free press in post about her father The Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi says House will move forward with impeachment MORE (Minn.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Castro hits fundraising threshold for December debate Buttigieg: Harris 'deserves to be under anybody's consideration' for vice president MORE (Mass.).

Also of note was the opposition from Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution The job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Senate passes legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters 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.