As lawmakers scrambled late Saturday to come to an agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky suggested that he was negotiating directly with President Barack Obama. Standing beside House Speaker John Boehner at a news conference, McConnell said he had spoken in the afternoon to Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden about a deal to avert what the administration says will be a default on Tuesday. “We are now fully engaged with the one person in America ... who can sign a bill into law,” said McConnell. “I’m confident and optimistic that we’re going to get an agreement in the very near . . . . .