The Treasury Department reported a sharp drop in tax receipts for April 2020 compared to 2019 after delaying tax payments until July. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo
May 12 (UPI) -- The federal deficit for the month of April reached a record high of $738 billion, the U.S. Treasury Department said Tuesday.
The monthly figure was about three-quarters of the entire fiscal year 2019's deficit, which came to $984 million.
The total deficit for the first seven months of the 2020 fiscal year stands at $1.48 trillion, bypassing the previous record year in 2009, which had a $1.4 trillion deficit, according to the Treasury report.
The public debt ballooned thanks to some $3.6 trillion in legislation passed by Congress to fight the coronavirus pandemic and spur the economy amid widespread business closures.
The biggest of those packages was the $2.3 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, which President Donald Trump signed March 27. The legislation provided direct stimulus payments of up to $1,200 to eligible Americans and $500 for each child. It also created a small business loan program.
The Treasury Department said it paid out $217 billion in the individual stimulus checks, $142 billion in state and local government payments, $146 billion in healthcare costs, and $46 billion in unemployment benefits.
Meanwhile, tax receipts were down $294 billion compared to April 2019 after the Trump administration delayed tax payments until July.