CBO to Project 2009 Deficit Will Reach $1.9 Trillion (Update2)
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By Brian Faler
March 20 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama’s budget will generate a $1.9 trillion deficit this year, $100 billion more than the administration projected, according to a person familiar with a Congressional Budget Office report to be released today.
The White House projected this year’s deficit will reach $1.75 trillion.
The person said next year’s shortfall will also be larger than projected, totaling $1.4 trillion. The administration said in its budget request to Congress last month that next year’s deficit would total $1.17 trillion.
The agency, Congress’s official scorekeeper, is slated to provide lawmakers today with an independent assessment of how Obama’s budget plan would affect the government’s checkbook. The darkened outlook may make it harder to approve big-ticket items on Obama’s legislative agenda such as his plans to expand health-care coverage or rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
In January, CBO projected this year’s deficit would total at least $1.18 trillion.
The estimate comes as lawmakers prepare their budget plans for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The House Budget Committee is slated to consider its tax-and-spending plan March 25 with floor action likely the following week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, said yesterday her colleagues wouldn’t alter their priorities even if CBO reported gloomier numbers than the White House.
“Our priorities are the same,” Pelosi said. “Education, a change in energy policy and health-care reform are what will turn the economy around, bring money to the Treasury, make America healthier, make us competitive internationally through innovation and do what we need to put the economy on a much more stable footing.”