Five Treasury nominees were sworn in this week, including a new assistant secretary for tax policy, whose appointment has been held up by a senator for nearly five full months.Last week, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, agreed to release his block on Eric Solomon’s nomination. After approving the appointment of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in July, Baucus said that he would refuse to allow the committee to vote on any other nominations until he was satisfied with the agency’s plans to close the tax gap -- the difference between taxes paid and taxes owed in the country, which his estimates put at some $300 billion annually.

In May, President Bush nominated Solomon to the post, which has been empty since 2004 and would be responsible for shepherding any attempts at meaningful tax reform through Congress. Solomon has been serving as the Treasury deputy assistant secretary for tax policy, conducting many of the higher position’s duties.

In October, Baucus said that he was unsatisfied with the broad plan outlined by the Treasury to close the tax gap, and has not offered further explanation for why he lifted the hold.

In the new position, Solomon has supervisory responsibility for providing Paulson with policy analysis, advice and recommendations relating to all aspects of domestic and international issues of federal taxation. His office is also responsible for providing the official estimates of all government receipts for the president's budget, fiscal policy decisions and Treasury cash-management decisions.

Solomon joined the Treasury in October of 1999, having worked previously as a partner at Ernst & Young and at the Internal Revenue Service as an assistant chief counsel in the corporate division.

In addition to Solomon, the Treasury appointments included:

  • Robert F. Hoyt as general counsel;
  • Phillip L. Swagel as assistant secretary for economic policy;
  • Anthony W. Ryan as assistant secretary for financial markets; and,
  • Michele A. Davis as assistant secretary for public affairs.

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