Manchin to oppose Biden’s nominee to head IRS

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), embroiled in a nasty fight with the administration over electric vehicle credits, announced Wednesday that he would oppose its pick to head up the IRS.

“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,” Manchin said in a statement.

The West Virginia Democrat has been battling the Treasury Department over what he considers misguided interpretations of legislation Democrats pushed into law last summer expanding tax credits for electric vehicles and a slew of other green energy programs. Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) largely wrote that legislation.

Manchin’s move also comes as he faces the prospect of a tough reelection race next year in his Republican-leaning state. He has not said whether he’ll run for another term.

Manchin’s opposition is unlikely endanger Werfel’s nomination, which appears assured. Werfel won bipartisan support on the chamber’s Finance Committee, with three Republicans there backing him. The Senate is expected to vote on Werfel’s confirmation Wednesday evening.

“At every turn, this administration has ignored congressional intent when implementing the Inflation Reduction Act,” Manchin said, referring to the law that includes the tax incentives. “First and foremost, the IRA is an energy security bill with clear and direct guidelines to ensure we are able to onshore our supply and manufacturing chains.”

“But instead of adhering to Congressional intent and prioritizing our nation’s energy and national security, the Treasury Department has pandered to automakers and progressive extreme groups and continued to sacrifice the national security of the United States.”

The West Virginia Democrat is fighting the administration over energy tax credits and also faces a tough reelection bid.  

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