Biden to tout efforts to reduce budget deficit in speech By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden salutes as he boards Air Force One to return to Washington from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. May 3, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

By Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will tout his administration’s efforts at tackling the nation’s budget deficit in an economic speech on Thursday, a White House official said.

Biden and Democrats have come under fire from Republicans for a historic rise in inflation, which some critics say is due in part to overspending in Washington amid the COVID pandemic as well as global supply constraints.

“The President today will speak to this important news, and his commitment to reducing the deficit going forward while making critical investments to boost the capacity of our economy and lower costs for American families – essentials like prescription drugs, health care, and utility bills,” the official said.

The president is still seeking a nearly $2 trillion spending bill aimed at expanding the social safety net and tackling climate change, but Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, a fiscal conservative, has blocked the attempt due to concerns about the budget deficit.

The United States has reported budget deficits every year since 2001. Beginning in 2016, increases in spending on Social Security, health care, and interest on federal debt have outpaced the growth of federal revenue. In the past few years, the annual deficit has ballooned to around 3 trillion dollars due to pandemic spending and loss of revenue.

Biden will note that the budget deficit fell by over $350 billion in his first year and that new U.S. Treasury estimates show it will fall by over $1.5 trillion this year – a revision up from the $1.3 trillion projected in the president’s budget released earlier this year, according to the White House official.

It would be the largest deficit reduction in a single year on record, the White House official said. The deficit reduction is due to a recovering economy and the winding down of emergency spending.

The Treasury Department also estimates that it will pay down the national debt this quarter for the first time since 2016.

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