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Dec 20, 2013 10:55 AM by Associated Press

Senate confirms turnaround specialist to head IRS

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate has voted to confirm President Barack Obama's choice to head the Internal Revenue Service.

John Koskinen is a retired corporate and government official who has run numerous organizations in crisis. He'll serve a five-year term as IRS commissioner. The vote was 59-36.

The 74-year-old Koskinen has extensive experience in the public and private sectors.

He came in to overhaul mortgage buyer Freddie Mac after its near-collapse at the end of President George W. Bush's administration. He also oversaw preparations for potential computer problems associated with the Year 2000 under President Bill Clinton.

The IRS has about 90,000 employees and processes more than 140 million individual income tax returns each year. Next year, the IRS will oversee much of Obama's new health care law.

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