Government spending

U.S. deficit swells to $691 billion in first half of 2019

President Trump and Republicans during an event at the White House celebrating the passage of his tax bill in 2017.
President Trump and Republicans celebrating the passage of his tax bill in 2017. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Treasury Department revealed in a budget report on Wednesday that the country’s deficit grew to $691 billion in the first half of the 2019 fiscal year — beginning Oct. 1, 2018 — compared with the $600 billion in the comparable period last year, Reuters reports.

The big picture: The national debt passed $22 trillion, the most ever — $2 trillion of which has been accrued since Trump took office.

Go deeper: The national debt has soared past $22 trillion, but does it even matter?

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the deficit grew to $691 billion, not grew by $691 billion and the link to last year's tax cuts has been removed because tax receipts were up.

Trump on track to dismantle the Office of Personnel Management

Closeup of Donald Trump in the oval office
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump is planning to use his executive powers to remove a federal agency, in line with his administration's goal of cutting what it sees as wasteful spending and inefficiencies, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: By the fall, the Office of Personnel Management anticipates an executive order that will break up the agency and, at first, assign its responsibilities to 3 different departments. The administration reportedly does not intend to lay off any of its 5,565 employees, but will eventually shrink its workforce through retirements and unfilled vacancies.