Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has remained steadfast in blocking Senate floor action on the nomination of Michael Desmond to serve as IRS chief counsel. As described on the agency's website, the chief counsel "serves as the chief legal advisor to the IRS Commissioner on all matters pertaining to the interpretation, administration, and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, as well as all other legal matters". There was some hope that Desmond's nomination would come before the full Senate before the end of December but that was not the case. Menendez's office confirmed to the media that he had delayed floor action on the nomination. On Jan. 3, the Senate Finance Committee returned Desmond's nomination, along with a number of other nominations, to President Trump under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate. According to the Congressional Research Service, "nominations that are pending when the Senate adjourns sine die or recesses for more than 30 days are returned to the President unless the Senate, by unanimous consent, waives the rule requiring their return. If a nomination is returned, and the President still desires Senate consideration, he must submit a new nomination to the Senate". Menendez has described his opposition to the nomination of Desmond as well as his earlier opposition to the confirmation of current IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig as a protest against the agency's proposed regs, pursuant to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA; P.L. 115-97, 12/22/2017), that would prevent states from declaring certain state and local tax payments as charitable contributions. For the return of the nomination to the President, see here.
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Mike Desmond Nomination as Chief Counsel Stymied (1/9/18)
I picked this up from Checkpoint Newstand for 1/9/19: