Glimmer of hope in debt talks: Biden and McCarthy tag in negotiators

Debt-limit talks shifted into an encouraging new phase Tuesday as President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy named top emissaries to negotiate a deal to avert an unprecedented national default. Mr. Biden cut short an upcoming overseas trip in hopes of closing an agreement before a June 1 deadline.

The fresh set of negotiators means discussions are now largely narrowed to what the White House and Mr. McCarthy will accept to allow lawmakers to raise the debt limit in the coming days. The speaker said after a meeting with Mr. Biden and congressional leaders that a deal was “possible” by week’s end, even as – in Mr. McCarthy’s view – the two sides remained far apart for the moment.

Mr. Biden was publicly upbeat after a roughly hourlong meeting in the Oval Office, despite having to cancel the Australia and Papua New Guinea portions of his overseas trip that begins Wednesday. Mr. Biden will participate in a Group of Seven summit in Hiroshima, Japan, but then return to Washington on Sunday.