The people familiar with the matter say talks have taken a marked shift in recent days as staff and leaders have consulted, becoming more “serious.” Both sides have agreed to keep details private, according to the people, who declined to detail where new ground was being broken…

Perhaps the most encouraging sign of progress to veterans of congressional negotiations is the fact that both sides of the talks maintained a strict public moratorium on commenting on the talks. One Republican said that in Congress, as in union negotiations, the most progress is made at the bargaining table when the parties are not speaking at the microphones.