As the Senate Finance Committee prepared to vote Wednesday on the nomination of Charles O. Rossotti to be IRS commissioner, the candidate received some welcome support from committee Chairman William Roth, Jr., R-Del.
At a committee hearing last week, Roth said the selection of Rossotti, who is a private-sector technology executive, "breaks the mold of former IRS commissioners."
Roth predicted that Rossotti would win Senate approval if he shows "a powerful and undiluted commitment to reform."
"Your background is uniquely suited to the task," Roth told Rossotti. "You are not a career civil servant. You are a successful businessman."
President Clinton nominated Rossotti, chairman of the Fairfax, Va.-based American Management Systems Inc., in July, because he said his business management and computer experience could turn around a troubled IRS.
"Charles Rossotti has the combination of leadership skills, understanding of what serving customers means and expertise with information technology that the IRS needs at this critical juncture," Deputy Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summer said. "I hope and expect he will receive a ringing endorsement from the entire Senate in the coming days."
On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a package of major changes that would expand taxpayer rights and create an 11-member board comprised primarily of private citizens to oversee the IRS.
Support for reform and restructuring of the IRS has been building since Senate Finance Committee hearings on the agency last month.