Biden heads to Asia as US faces debt limit crisis

Biden heads to Asia as US faces debt limit crisis

Crisis discussions with Republicans over the debt limit cut short President Joe Biden's Asia vacation Wednesday.

Due to a home problem, Biden will only visit Japan on his shortened trip.

The president wanted to emphasize Russia and China during summits in Japan and Australia. He was the first sitting U.S. president to visit Papua New Guinea.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that Biden will skip Australia and Papua New Guinea and return to Washington early on Sunday to negotiate a settlement before the U.S. defaults on June 1.

After Biden received House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other legislative leaders in the Oval Office Tuesday, McCarthy said an agreement may be reached by the end of the week, but no deal looked near.

Still, economic disaster threatened to eclipse Biden's international tour.

The White House believes Biden can manage domestic and international policy issues simultaneously, and the president indicated Tuesday he would keep in contact with McCarthy.

"I made it clear to the speaker and others that we'll speak regularly over the next several days and the staff is going to continue meeting daily to make sure we do not default," Biden said following Tuesday's Oval Office discussion.

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