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As US budget deficit soars to $1.7 trillion, Biden requests $106 billion for Ukraine, Israel

A sign marks the US Treasury Department in Washington, the United States. (Photo by Reuters)

The US budget deficit has widened to $1.7 trillion, a 23 percent jump from last year, in a development that could add pressure on President Joe Biden after he requested a massive $106 billion urgent aid for Ukraine and Israel. 

The US Treasury Department said that compared to 2022’s budget deficit of $1.37 trillion, the fiscal year ending September 30 expanded by $320 billion, which is the largest since a COVID-triggered $2.78 trillion deficit in 2021.

The current deficit occurred as revenues fell and outlays for Social Security, Medicare and record-high interest costs on the federal debt rose.

The development could further add pressure on the American president as he seeks re-election in 2024.

On Friday, the White House requested Congress for $105.85 billion in fresh foreign aid and security spending, including $60 billion for Ukraine and $14 billion for Israel, which has waged a full-scale war on the besieged Gaza since October 7.

Biden needs the rest of the funding for US border security and the Indo-Pacific region.

A widening deficit could negatively impact current talks about funding federal agencies, with Congress nearing a November 17 deadline to act on the budget and evade a potential government shutdown.

In an impassioned Oval Office speech on Friday, 80-year-old Biden stressed that his requested fund would secure US interests for generations.

The US House of Representatives is currently in a persisting disarray, with Republicans in their worst meltdown in decades, where they have failed to elect a speaker for the past 17 days.

“The world is watching and the American people rightly expect their leaders to come together and deliver on these priorities,” White House Office of Management and Budget director Shalanda Young said in a letter to Congress.

The growing deficit comes as the US is pouring financial aids and weapons in Ukraine despite Russia’s repeated warnings that the move could prolong the war.

It is also flooding Israel with arms and military equipment that would be particularly used against people in Gaza, where shortages of food, water and medicine threaten the lives of Gazans and hospitals are overwhelmed amid incessant Israeli bombings.

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