Half of Republicans say US deficit needs to be dealt with immediately

Just over half of Republicans — 51 percent — said in a new Hill-HarrisX poll that the federal deficit is a problem that the government needs to deal with immediately. 

The poll showed strong support across party lines, with 50 percent of Democratic voters saying that the government should make the growing federal debt a top priority, while 58 percent of independents said the same.

Overall, 52 percent of those polled said the federal budget deficit needs to be addressed, compared to 48 percent who said the government should deal with other priorities first. 

The poll comes just one week after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE signed a massive two-year bipartisan budget deal into law. 

The new budget deal increases government spending by $320 billion and lifts the nation’s borrowing limit through July 2021. 

The Trump-backed measure easily passed Congress, with the Senate voting in favor of the measure in a 67-28 vote. The House passed the budget package by a vote of 284-149 before heading into its August recess. 

However, leading up to the bill’s passage, some conservatives expressed concern over the measure, which is projected to add nearly $2 trillion to the national debt over the next decade. 

The White House, meanwhile, projected in July that the federal deficit will surpass $1 trillion this year. This would mark the first time in the nation’s history that the deficit has exceeded that level since the four-year period following the Great Recession.

As a candidate, President Trump vowed to eliminate not only the deficit but the entire federal debt, which now stands at more than $22 trillion. It's unclear how this campaign promise will play out in the 2020 election as Trump looks to tout his economic record.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,001 registered voters between August 3 and August 4 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. 

—Tess Bonn