Carper Opposes IRS Nominee over Trump Administration Decision to Shield Dark Money

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), senior Democrat Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement after voting against the nomination of Chuck Rettig to serve as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in committee.

“On Monday, we learned that the IRS will eliminate a crucial donor disclosure requirement for 501(c)(4) organizations, like the NRA – making it easier for anonymous donors, including foreign agents, to funnel untraceable ‘dark money’ into our political system. The announcement was made on the very same day the Justice Department revealed the arrest of a Russian national with NRA ties who has been accused of trying to influence election outcomes. Eliminating this disclosure requirement is a threat to American democracy.

“We should be requiring more transparency from those who are seeking to influence our elections—not less. And, I believe it’s crucial to have someone at the helm of the IRS who will be committed to ensuring the full disclosure of large-dollar donations to organizations that participate in election campaigns. Unless Mr. Rettig commits to working with the Treasury Department to reinstate this crucial donor disclosure requirement, I will not be able to support his nomination.

“This is nothing personal against Mr. Rettig.  I believe Chuck Rettig is a fine attorney. He has an admirable career, spanning 35 years, effectively representing his clients’ interests in tax cases. He has been called upon to serve, and agreed to do so. But time and time again, we have seen individuals nominated to serve under President Trump who – however well-intentioned they may or may not be – fail to stand up to this Administration and its reckless policies. There are few things more reckless than putting our political system – the very core of our democracy and values – at risk from hostile foreign intervention.

“This Committee, and the Senate, are not a rubber stamp for this White House. The revelation that the IRS under President Trump will allow murky, undisclosed ‘dark money’ to flood our political system makes the person who will serve as IRS Commissioner even more important than it already was.

“Therefore, while I very much respect and appreciate Mr. Rettig’s willingness to serve, at this time I cannot support Mr. Rettig to be our next IRS Commissioner.”