The federal deficit will increase by $10 trillion over the next decade if current laws remain basically unchanged, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The deficit increased in fiscal year 2016 for the first time since 2009 in relation to the country's economic output, the CBO reported. If current laws remain as they are, budget deficits will increase between 2017 and 2027 because of retirement and healthcare program spending related to an aging population.
Rising interest rates on debt payment also would play a role, according to the CBO.
"Those accumulating deficits would drive debt held by the public from its already high level up to its highest percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) since shortly after World War II," the report said.
The projections could hamper Republicans on Capitol Hill, who took over both houses of Congress in 2010 on promises to cut the deficit, The New York Times reported.
"Now, congressional leaders will have to choose between their fealty to the cause of fiscal prudence and the demands of the new president, who wants $1 trillion in infrastructure work over 10 years, a surge in military spending, and large tax cuts for individuals and corporations," according to the Times.
President Donald Trump's nominee for budget director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, testified during his Senate confirmation hearing Tuesday he intends to tell the president hard truths when necessary.
"I haven't been quiet and shy since I've been here," Mulvaney said. "I have to imagine the president knew what he was getting when he asked me to fill this role. I'd like to think it's why he hired me."
As a "matter of principle," he said, "the debt is a problem that must be addressed sooner rather than later."
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