WASHINGTON – As promised, Sen. Chuck Grassley is formally objecting to Senate consideration of two Treasury nominees until the Treasury and IRS provide responses to his latest letter on the IRS whistleblower office. The nominees are Mark J. Mazur, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and Matthew S. Rutherford to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
“The IRS could and should be doing a lot more to stop big-dollar tax cheats,” Grassley said. “Progress on the whistleblower office is critical for tax compliance.”
Grassley wrote to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman on June 21, the latest in a series of letters to explore the reasons for slow-going on whistleblower case processing and pay-outs. While Treasury and IRS have provided information in meetings among staff, Grassley intends to object to Senate consideration of the nominees until he receives written responses to his June 21 letter.
Grassley’s notice of intention to object from the Congressional Record follows here. The text of his June 21 letter is available here. A press release describing Grassley’s history on the issue is available here.
INTENTION TO OBJECT -- (Senate - June 27, 2012)
Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, I intend to object to proceeding to the nominations of Mark J. Mazur, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury and Matthew S. Rutherford to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
My support for the final confirmation of these nominees will depend on both Treasury and Internal Revenue Service responses to questions I have posed regarding their implementation of the tax whistleblower program. I rewrote the statute in 2006 to encourage whistleblowing on big-dollar tax cheats. However, nearly six years since those changes were enacted, Treasury has yet to issue much needed regulations and IRS has paid less than a half dozen awards under the new program.
I have sent several letters to Secretary Geithner and Commissioner Shulman to get to the bottom of this. Our staffs have been meeting, including most recently on June 26, 2012. I understand that Secretary Geithner and Commissioner Shulman intend to provide written responses to my questions. Until I receive those responses, I will object to proceeding with the nominations of Mr. Rutherford and Dr. Mazur.