ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:
On the same day President Obama named Jack Lew to replace Peter Orszag as budget director, the nation’s deficit soared above the $1 trillion mark with three months still left in the current fiscal year, according to new figures released by the Treasury Department.
The $68 billion shortfall for June brought the total red ink as of the end of last month to just over $1 trillion. That is slightly less than the budget deficit at the same period last year, a year that ended with a record $1.4 trillion deficit.
At the same time as the new figures were released, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, Judd Gregg, said he will support Lew, but warned that he is inheriting a "disastrous financial situation."
“I find him to be very thoughtful, very smart, very capable,” Gregg told reporters after the Tuesday party luncheons on Capitol Hill. “He's certainly a dedicated public servant. He's taking on a job, however, where the numbers don't match up. I mean, this administration is running up massive spending and massive debt, and it's really the job of the OMB director to say the emperor has no clothes. And that's the situation today.”
“This country does not have a policy which is going to lead us out of what is a disastrous financial situation,” Gregg said. “The failure to pass a budget — or even to bring one to the floor of the Senate — is an inexcusable act by the majority party.”
As the Office of Management & Budget director under President Clinton, Obama noted today, Lew succeeded in compiling a $237 billion surplus before the Bush administration took office.
- Matthew Jaffe