Daschle's tax records under fire
The former senator and Obama's pick for secretary of Health and Human Services is under scrutiny for not paying taxes on a car and driver.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Senate Finance committee will meet Monday to review the tax records of former Sen. Tom Daschle, President Barack Obama's nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services who, according to sources, didn't pay taxes on a car and driver he had been loaned.
A Democratic source familiar with the situation told CNN that Daschle was loaned a car and driver by a wealthy friend and failed to disclose it on his income taxes, as he should have. Daschle has since paid what he owed, the source said.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Daschle brought the issues to the committee's attention himself and that Obama is "confident" he will be confirmed.
Daschle, 61, of South Dakota, served in the Senate from 1987-2005 and served as Democratic leader from 1995 until after he was defeated in a re-election bid in 2004. He has been a confidant and adviser to Obama, and it was not a surprise when Obama tabbed him for a role in his administration.
"The president has confidence that Senator Daschle is the right person to lead the fight for health care reform," Gibbs said Friday. "In preparation for his nomination, Senator Daschle and his accountant identified some tax issues and fixed them. They filed an amended return with the IRS and made payments with interest."
Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said that Daschle would be confirmed. "He has a long and distinguished career and record in public service and is the best person to help reform health care in this country," Manley said. "Senator Reid looks forward to a swift hearing and is confident Daschle will be confirmed."
Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican member of the committee, said Friday that Daschle's confirmation process has been the same as every other he's participated in since 2001.
He said the process "established certain tax violations, for which the nominee has amended or is amending returns."
He said the information that was discovered will be made public now that all committee members have been made aware of it. "The public's business ought to be public, and committee members must weigh all the facts of a nominee's record," he said in a written statement.
A congressional source also told CNN the committee has looked at several trips Daschle took, while he was out of office, on the private jet of Educap, a nonprofit group that works to help college students get loans.