IRS nominee on track for approval despite acrimony

WASHINGTON (AP) — The man who's been nominated to head the Internal Revenue Service is telling senators that he will work to restore public trust in the agency.

The nomination of John Koskinen (KAHS'-kihn-ihn) came in the wake of the scandal over the targeting of conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Speaking to a Senate panel today, Koskinen also warned that the ability of the IRS to collect revenue and enforce the nation's tax laws is being threatened by budget cuts.

It appears likely that the Senate will confirm Koskinen to a five-year term, which would last beyond President Barack Obama's stay in office.

But today's confirmation hearing was cut short when Republicans invoked a little-used rule that prohibits committees from meeting later than two hours after the Senate starts its daily session. The rule is normally waived, but Republicans are showing their anger over the changes Democrats recently made in Senate rules to make it easier to confirm many of the president's nominees without Republican support.

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APPHOTO DCSA121: John Koskinen, President Barack Obama's choice to head the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, before the Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination. Koskinen, 74, is a retired corporate and government official with experience managing numerous organizations in crisis. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (10 Dec 2013)

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