New IRS chief: "Primary mission" is to restore Americans' trust

Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel was testifying before Congress about increasing the agency's budget

By Jillian Rayfield

Published June 3, 2013 9:08PM (EDT)

In testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Monday, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel acknowledged that Americans are now wary of the agency, and that "a trust has been violated" in the wake of the recent targeting controversy.

"We must have the trust of the American taxpayer. Unfortunately, that trust has been broken," he said. "The agency stands ready to confront the problems that occurred, hold accountable those who acted inappropriately, be open about what happened, and permanently fix these problems so that such missteps do not occur again."

“My primary mission is to restore that trust,” Werfel said.

From the Associated Press, Werfel was not just testifying about the controversies:

Werfel testified at a difficult time for the agency. Criticized from inside and outside the government, Werfel went to Capitol Hill to ask for a big budget increase. President Barack Obama has requested a 9 percent increase in IRS spending for the budget year that starts in October, in part to help pay for the implementation of the new health care law.

House Republicans have voted 37 times to eliminate, defund or partly scale back the Affordable Care Act, and many are not eager to increase funding for an agency that will play a central role in enforcing compliance.


Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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