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Manchin Breaks with Democrats Again, This Time on Debt Ceiling

Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two weeks ago, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin broke with his party in the budget debate, voting against the Democrats’ spending proposal and arguing that President Obama “has failed to lead this debate.”

On Monday, he was at it again. In a speech at the University of Charleston, Sen. Manchin said he will vote against raising the debt ceiling -- as the administration has requested -- unless his vote is linked to a plan to fix the nation’s soaring deficits.

“We must get our fiscal house in order. We must be honest about what we value and what we need to spend your taxpayer dollars on – not what just sounds good,” Manchin said. “I have never put together a budget – be it my family's or as governor – that was based on how much we wanted to spend, but on what we had. That is why I will vote against raising the debt ceiling unless the vote is linked to a real budget plan that begins to fix our fiscal mess.”

The administration has urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling before the nation hits its red ink limit sometime between April 15 and May 31, warning that a dire situation would result if lawmakers fail to act.

Twenty-three GOP senators have vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling unless the White House agrees to tackle entitlement programs in the ongoing budget talks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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