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Hagan ranks in Senate's ideological middle; Ellmers among most conservative

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan ranks in the ideological middle, according to the latest rankings from the National Journal. The Democrat, who faces re-election in 2014, ranks the 48th most liberal of the 100 senators, or 52 most conservative, depending on how you look at it.

Her Republican counterpart U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is the 23rd most conservative member in the chamber, the nonpartisan national political magazine found. National Journal ranked the lawmakers on 116 votes that showed differences in ideological viewpoint in the 112th Congress.

Among Democrats in the House, Congressman David Price is the most liberal at No. 32, followed by Mel Watt (45), former U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (83), G.K. Butterfield (121). On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick was the 32nd most conservative, followed by Reps. Renee Ellmers (43), Virginia Foxx (55), Patrick McHenry (62), Howard Coble (153) and Walter Jones (242).

Morning Roundup: N.C. congressional delegation splits on fiscal cliff vote

North Carolina's congressional delegation split along unusual lines when it came to the fiscal cliff legislation. U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan voted to approve. In the House, five Democrats and one Republican voted in favor and two Democrats and five Republicans voted against. See the breakdown here and more on the vote here.

More political headlines below.

N.C. congressional delegation splits on balanced budget amendment

The N.C. congressional delegation overwhelmingly supported a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget with three conservative Democrats joining their Republican cohort.

The House vote 261-165 failed to earn the two-thirds voted needed for passage. (Read more here.) Twenty-five Democrats joined the Republicans in supporting the measure including North Carolina Reps. Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell.

Other supporters included Republican Reps. Howard Coble, Renee Ellmers, Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Patrick McHenry and Sue Myrick.

"A balanced budget amendment is a simple and commonsense step to address the exploding national debt and runaway government spending," Foxx said in a statement. "It already works for the 49 states that have a balance budget amendment and it’s time it worked for a federal government awash in red ink."

Rep. Brad Miller, a Raleigh Democrat who voted against the amendment, called the vote a "PR gimmick" in a statement. "The Constitution gives Congress the power to do its job, and that’s what we need to do. We should make the hard decisions it will take to rein in the budget deficit," he said. Fellow Democrat David Price spoke about his opposition on the House floor -- watch a video of his remarks here.

In addition to Miller and Price, Democratic Reps. G.K. Butterfield and Mel Watt also cast "no" votes.

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