Sen. Warner: Congress should be fired if we can't reach a deficit deal

A member of the now-reunited bipartisan Gang of Six offered cautious optimism Tuesday for progress in the deficit-reduction negotiations.

But Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said voters should still hold lawmakers' feet to the fire on the national debt.

"If we don't get this fixed, we all ought to be fired," Warner said of Congress on ABC's Top Line.

Warner said that he still has his doubts about the prospects of the talks. "Darn right I'm worried," he said.

Speaking at The Atlantic's New Work Era Summit, Warner characterized the Gang of Six plan as "a bit of good news from the front" because it enjoys bipartisan support.

Warner, a member of the group that reunited and announced a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction plan Tuesday, said he has become "obsessed" with the debt.

"These are challenging times," Warner said. "I feel at times like I've turned into that guy with the wild hair walking around with the sign saying 'the end is near.' "

Warner challenged both members of his own party and Republicans to look "even at areas that are critical" in the budget in order to reach a solution.

"I don't care what political party you belong to ... the idea that there is a Republican-only or Democrat-only solution to this problem is flat wrong," he said.

--This post was updated at 7:11 p.m. on July 19.

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