U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Will Vote against Biden Nominee to Head IRS

On Wednesday, Democrat Senator Joe Manchin confirmed he would vote again Daniel Werfel for commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, a week after President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the agency was approved in the Senate by a committee.

Senator Manchin, who has frequently blocked the president’s legislative priorities, said he was voting against Werfel because of the administration’s implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, a far-reaching climate and tax bill that Manchin was critical in passing.

“At every turn, this Administration has ignored Congressional intent when implementing the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Manchin in a statement.

Senator Manchin rewrote tax credits to require a percentage of battery materials to be sourced in the United States or free-trade nations and production of EVs in North America to qualify fully. These provisions aim to bring manufacturing and supply chains to the U.S. and its allies and lessen the dependency on China.

“Instead of adhering to Congressional intent and prioritizing our nation’s energy and national security, the Treasury Department has pandered to automakers and progressive extremist groups and continued to sacrifice the national security of the United States of America,” Manchin said.

President Biden is scheduled to host European Commission President Ursula von der Leven at the White House Friday, with talks predicted to focus on a potential agreement that would permit cars assembled in Europe to qualify for electric vehicle tax credits.

“While Daniel Werfel is supremely qualified to serve as the IRS Commissioner, I have zero faith he will be given the autonomy to perform the job in accordance with the law, and for that reason, I cannot support his nomination,” added Manchin.

Joe Manchin’s vote critical to Werfel’s confirmation

Sen. Manchin’s vote is crucial as Democrats currently hold a slim majority in the Senate, by a thin 51-49 majority. This majority includes the three independents who caucus with them. Two Democrats, Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Fetterman, are currently out with medical issues.

Last week, Werfel received bipartisan support in a Senate committee vote, which advanced his nomination last week. This week, Manchin helped shelve Biden’s pick for a critical fifth seat on the Federal Communications Commission by signaling his opposition to the nominee, Gigi Sohn, who then withdrew on Tuesday.

Senator Manchin represents West Virginia, a state that has trended Republican in recent decades despite being a former Democratic stronghold. The senator has yet to signal if he will run for re-election in 2024 but will likely face a fierce battle to hold on to his seat.

An official from the White House noted the bipartisan support for Werfel for his past service in Republican and Democrat administrations and said they urge the Senate to confirm him.