US budget boss positive on debt

US President Barack Obama’s budget chief said yesterday he saw some signs that US lawmakers could strike a deficit reduction deal by a 23 November deadline despite no visible indications of progress in talks. White House budget director Jack Lew said that Republicans had begun to show some flexibility on taxes, an issue that has pitted them against Democrats, and seemed serious about avoiding another divisive budget showdown. “It certainly seems ... that there’s a desire to get things done,” he said.