WASHINGTON (AP) - The federal government started the 2013 budget year with a $120 billion deficit, an indication that the nation is on a path to another $1 trillion-plus deficit.
The Treasury Department says the October deficit was 22 percent higher than the same month last year. Officials said last year's October deficit was lower than expected because of calendar quirk that allowed some benefits to be paid in September 2011.
The budget year begins on Oct. 1.
The government has run deficits in excess of $1 trillion in each of the last four years. President Barack Obama and Congress are under pressure to come up with a plan to curb the deficit while also reaching a budget deal to prevent tax increases and deep spending cuts from kicking in Jan. 1.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says it's up to President Barack Obama to present a deficit reduction plan rather than a campaign slogan to Congress.
The Kentucky Republican said that like House Speaker John Boehner, he is ready to support new revenue as part of a deal that reins in government benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid. But like the speaker, McConnell also says it's a non-starter to talk about raising tax rates as the president has proposed for the wealthiest taxpayers.
McConnell said the time for slogans and pep rallies has passed, and if the president is serious about solving the nation's budget problems, he has to step up and lead.
He made his remarks on the Senate floor as lawmakers returned for a post-election session.
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