Follow Us

Biden has added twice as much debt as Trump over same time period of first term

Biden has added $4.3 trillion to the nation's $32 trillion debt so far in his term compared to $2.1 trillion in Trump's first 2.5 years in office, according to Treasury.

Published: June 16, 2023 11:54pm

President Joe Biden has added twice as much debt in his roughly 2.5 years in the White House, compared to former President Trump over the same period.

The national debt surpassed $32 trillion Friday, reaching $32.03 trillion, according to Treasury Department data.

The national debt has increased by roughly $4.3 trillion from $27.7 trillion since Biden took office on Jan. 20, 2021.

The Democrat president had a Democratic-led House and Senate to work with until January 2023 when the GOP took the House majority.

The national debt increased $2.1 trillion from the time Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017 to June 17, 2019 – from $19.9 trillion to $22 trillion.

Trump had a Republican-led House and Senate until January 2019 when the Democrats took the House majority. 

When the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020, the national debt soared to record highs due to the massive stimulus bills passed by the Democratic-led House and Republican-led Senate and signed into law by Trump. 

Biden and the Democratic-led Congress passed their own pandemic stimulus bill in 2021 as well.

The national debt jumped from $23.5 trillion in mid-March of 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, to $27.7 trillion when Trump left office.

Congress recently passed legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling by roughly $4 trillion through next year.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said Friday that it's past time for Congress to take action to lower the nation's deficit, which the Congressional Office projects will total $1.4 trillion for fiscal 2023.

"We can’t even get through a single fiscal year anymore without adding a trillion dollars in debt, and $33 trillion is likely just around the corner," she said. "Our debt addiction saddles the next generation with a debt burden that only grows larger so long as we insist on ducking the hard choices of governing. We need a return to responsible fiscal policy if we’re ever going to get ourselves out of this mess."

Congress is currently working on the fiscal 2024 budget. The GOP-controlled House Appropriations Committee formally adopted subcommittee spending allocations on Thursday that came in under the caps in the debt limit agreement, in a 33-27 vote. 

"The Fiscal Responsibility Act set a top line spending cap – a ceiling, not a floor – for Fiscal Year 2024 bills,” said House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, a Texas Republican. "That is why I will use this opportunity to mark up appropriations bills that limit new spending to the Fiscal Year 2022 top-line level.”

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook