Lawmakers ‘depressed,’ ‘downcast’ over debt talks

Republicans and Democrats are butting heads over everything from raising taxes to making spending cuts — with no end in sight. Things got even more tense last week when House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorRepublicans who vow to never back Trump NRCC upgrades 11 'Young Guns' candidates Cruz, Kasich join forces to stop Trump MORE (R-Va.) walked out of talks.

 

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Now Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says the outlook’s so dim that his fellow senators are feeling downright downtrodden.

 “I tell you, I find that a lot of our colleagues — I hate to use the word ‘depressed’; I don’t mean it in a clinical way — but they’re downcast,” Lieberman said. “They’re really downcast about the failure of the process here as we head toward the debt-ceiling vote.”

 While Lieberman concedes he’s no Dr. Phil, he remains convinced he’s seen a real change of mood.

 But the feelings of saddened senators could get worse before they get better — there was chatter on Wednesday that leaders might cancel their Fourth of July recess to continue working on a deficit-reduction plan.

 Still, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who has battled with colleagues to produce a Senate budget resolution, says he remains hopeful about the institution.

 “I’m Scandinavian. I don’t spend much time being depressed. I’m always optimistic. We’ve got to find a way out of this.”