Federal Deficit Totaled $1.23T through August

September 13, 2011 - 2:10 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit reached $1.23 trillion in August. The third straight $1 trillion-plus deficit adds pressure on Congress and the White House to reach agreement on a long-term plan to trim government spending.

The Treasury Department says the deficit grew by $134.2 billion last month. At that rate, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects the deficit will total $1.28 trillion when the budget year ends in September. That would nearly match last year's $1.29 trillion imbalance and come in below the record $1.41 trillion hit in fiscal 2009.

A congressional panel is seeking $1.2 trillion in savings later this year.

The CBO director warned that spiraling interest payments could swamp the government's ability to pay for its operations and could spark a financial crisis if nothing is done.