WASHINGTON – The federal budget deficit is on pace to break the $1 trillion mark for a third straight year. Record deficits are putting pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to come up with a plan to rein in government spending.

Already, the deficit through the first eight months of this budget year is $927.4 billion, according to the latest report from the Treasury Department released Friday.

Three years ago that would have ranked as the highest ever for a full year. Instead, this year’s deficit will likely exceed last year’s $1.29 trillion imbalance and nearly match the $1.41 trillion record reached in 2009. The budget year ends on Sept. 30.

For May, the monthly deficit was $57.6 billion. That compared to $135.9 billion deficit for the same month last year. But much of that improvement came from a $45 billion write down in the estimated cost of the financial bailout program.

The latest Treasury report does show that more people are working and paying taxes this budget year, a positive sign.

Government revenues have totaled $1.48 trillion for the eight months ending in May, a 10.3 percent increase over the same stretch in the previous budget year.

Still, government outlays totaled $2.41 trillion through May. And one of the fastest growing parts of the budget is interest on the national debt, which rose 13.6 percent to $165.3 billion.

The government is at risk of defaulting on those debt payments. That would likely happen if Congress fails to raise the nation’s $14.3 trillion borrowing limit by early August. A default on the debt would rattle markets and send interest rates soaring, making mortgages and other consumer loans more expensive.

The increase in the debt limit is being held up by Republicans, who want President Barack Obama and Democrats to first agree to deep spending cuts.

The White House and Democrats want to trim the deficit through spending cuts and also by ending tax cuts for the wealthy.

Republicans reject that approach, saying it amounts to a tax increase. Their plan would focus exclusively on cutting spending. They have also proposed further tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.