The federal budget deficit ballooned rapidly in the first four months of the fiscal year amid falling tax revenue and higher spending, the Treasury Department said Tuesday, posing a new challenge for the White House and Congress and they prepare for a number of budget battles.
The deficit grew 77 percent in the first four months of fiscal year 2019 compared with the same period one year before, Treasury said.
The total deficit for the four month period was $310 billion, Treasury said, up from $176 billion for the same period one year earlier.
The government is collecting less money in taxes and spending more money that it did a year ago, in part because of policy decisions that the White House and lawmakers embraced in recent years.
Lawmakers enacted sweeping tax cuts at the end of 2017, and those changes continue to reduce revenue flowing to the Treasury Department.