WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Treasury Department said Wednesday the budget deficit through July has reached $1.099 trillion, $70 billion less than the same time last year.
The small closure in the gap was due to more government revenues, the department said in a statement. Total spending was up from $2.921 trillion to $2.992 trillion, but government receipts grew more, from $1.753 trillion to $1.893 trillion, The Hill reported.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Wednesday announced their six appointees for a bipartisan, 12-member panel tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts to the deficit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced his picks Tuesday, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has until Tuesday to announce the final three members of the so-called supercommittee.
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday it's important for the supercommittee to take a balanced approach in seeking to reduce the deficit.
"I think every member of Congress who's elected and sent to Washington to represent his or her constituents has a responsibility to act seriously when asked to deal with such a serious issue," Carney said. "We strongly believe that the way to do that is to take a balanced approach -- and we are not alone. The American people overwhelmingly support the balanced approach that the president supports. And Republicans and Democrats, together, support the balanced approach that the president supports. And I would think that when we're looking at the things that have created the deficits and debt that we have, it's very instructive to remember that we have to look into every area."
Carney said President Barack Obama is preparing recommendations for the panel.