Ambitious agenda for Biden on upcoming three-nation Indo-Pacific trip as debt default looms at home

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has an ambitious agenda when he sets off this week on an eight-day trip to the Indo-Pacific. He’s looking to tighten bonds with longtime allies, make history as the first sitting U.S. president to visit the tiny island state of Papua New Guinea and spotlight his administration’s commitment to the Pacific. The three-country journey also presents the 80-year-old Biden, who recently announced he’s running for reelection, with the opportunity to demonstrate that he still has what it takes to handle the grueling pace of the presidency. But as he heads west, Biden finds himself in a stalemate with Republican lawmakers over raising the debt limit that threatens to spark an economic downturn.