Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Trump and Mnuchin participate in a briefing at the White House. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. budget deficit hit a record $3.1 trillion in the 2020 fiscal year, according to data released Friday by the Treasury Department.

Why it matters: The deficit — which measures the gap between what the government spends and what it brings in through taxes and other revenue streams — illustrates the massive impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on the economy.

  • The shortfall easily eclipsed the previous record set in 2009, when the deficit was $1.4 trillion, per CNBC.

By the numbers:

  • The federal government spent $6.552 trillion for the fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, according government data. That's up from $4.447 trillion spent last fiscal year.
  • The government brought in $3.42 trillion in tax revenue in the 2020 fiscal year, down slightly from 2019.
  • Much of the 2020 deficit can be attributed to the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, passed in March.

What they're saying: In a statement on Friday, Treasury said the deficit was $2 trillion more than originally forecast due to actions taken to stem the economic impact of the coronavirus.

  • “Thanks to President Trump’s pro-growth policies and the bipartisan CARES Act, we are experiencing a strong economic recovery,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday. 
  • “The Administration remains fully committed to supporting American workers, families, and businesses and to ensuring that our robust economic rebound continues,” Mnuchin said.

The big picture: The data come as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House remain deadlocked in negotiations on a new round of stimulus aid.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Thursday said he would not put a potential $1.8 trillion deal struck by democrats and the Trump administration on the Senate floor, noting the number is “a much larger amount than I can sell to my members."

Go deeper: Employment gains are reversing course

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Jan 20, 2021 - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.

Day One: Biden moves to combat racial inequity with executive action

A wall of Black Lives Matter art sits in front of preparations for Joe Biden's inauguration near the White House. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

President-elect Biden will on Wednesday launch a "whole-of-government" initiative aimed at advancing racial equity in federal policymaking and rooting out systemic racism from programs and institutions.

Why it matters: Biden’s win relied heavily on voters of color — especially Black Americans.

Biden will ask the Department of Education to extend student loan relief

A U.S. flag flies above a building as students graduate from California's Pasadena City College in June 2019. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP

As part of his day one executive actions, President-elect Biden on Wednesday will ask the Department of Education to extend federal student loan relief, hoping to pause payments and interest accrual until at least Sept. 30.

Why it matters: The relief, in place since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to expire Jan. 31 . The measures, which also include expanding forgiveness and income-based repayment programs, have helped tens of millions of borrowers handle the financial strain brought on by the public health crisis.