John Koskinen, a private-sector turnaround specialist known for having led the Clinton White House response to the Y2K computer scare, was approved by the Senate on Friday to be commissioner of Internal Revenue. The vote was 59-36.
Koskinen’s nomination, approval for which required a simple majority following the Senate’s recent change of rules allowing filibusters, had been widely praised by members of both parties. But Republicans such as Utah’s Orrin Hatch, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, wanted the Senate to hold off until the committee completes its investigation of the controversy over the Internal Revenue Service’s handling of applications for tax-exempt status in which tea-party-affiliated and other groups were singled out for scrutiny.
The Senate took up a list of nominations Friday while racing to leave town for the holidays.
The IRS since May has been run on an acting basis by former U.S. Controller Danny Werfel.