The Congressional Budget Office estimated in an updated report released on Wednesday that the federal budget deficit could hit $3.3 trillion this year, which would triple the deficit recorded last year.
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The forecast represents 16% of gross domestic product – which would be the largest deficit recorded since World War II.
As a result, federal debt held by the public this year could increase to 98% of GDP.
The $2.2 trillion increase over March estimates was largely attributed to legislation passed in response to the pandemic.
The CBO’s updated deficit projections exceed its 50-year average of 3% in each year through 2030. At that time, debt could equal 109% of GDP.
Meanwhile, the White House is clashing with Democratic leadership over the cost of a potential additional stimulus package. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said last week that the president was prepared to sign a $1.3 trillion bill, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she wanted something closer to $2.2 trillion.
On Tuesday, a spokesperson from Speaker Pelosi’s office said Democrats were willing to come down on their spending request – but indicated that they needed compromise on behalf of Republicans in order to do so.