The US budget deficit climbed to $2.81 trillion ($A3.9 trillion)in the first 10 months of the budget year, exceeding any on record.
The nation’s budgetary shortfall is expected to eventually reach levels for the fiscal year that ends September 30 more than double the largest annual deficit on record.
The federal government rang up a $63 billion ($A87 billion) deficit in July, the Treasury department reported. That’s a relatively modest amount compared to red ink that spilled in the spring months when the government tried to revive an economy that had all but ground to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Congress has already passed rescue packages totalling nearly $3 trillion ($A4.1 trillion) this year, but Democrats and Republicans remain far apart on another relief bill, just as an expanded unemployment benefit expired on July 31.
President Donald Trump issued a series of presidential directives last weekend to prolong the extended unemployment benefits at a lower amount, with 25 per cent to be paid for by the states. But it’s unclear how much of an economic boost the extension would provide, given the economic uncertainty and funding that could run dry after five weeks.
Democrats in the House passed a bill with $3 trillion ($A4.1 trillion) in aid, but the Republican-led Senate is pushing for a package closer to $1 trillion ($A1.39 trillion) and did not bring the House bill up for a vote before going on August recess.