The US deficit was down 35 percent to $755 billion in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, after posting an August shortfall of $148 billion, the Treasury said Thursday. Although larger than the average monthly spending gap, the August deficit was 22.5 percent lower than August 2012, helped by a slight rise in receipts against a sharper fall in spending. The 35 percent decline over the first 11 months from the same period in the 2012 fiscal year came as receipts rose 13.0 percent to $2.47 trillion while outlays were down 3.9 percent at $3.19 trillion. Despite the gains in narrowing the deficit from the 2009 full-year high of $1.4 trillion, the administration of President Barack Obama is girding for a tough battle with congressional Republicans in the coming weeks over putting through a new financial plan for fiscal 2014, which begins on October 1. Republicans are threatening to block the budget to get further spending cuts and reverse Obama\'s far-reaching health reforms. But the battle threatens to shut down parts of the government if a new budget cannot be passed.