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Party leaders spar over Senate rule changes

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PHILIP ELLIOTT | July 14, 2013 09:59 AM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — The top Senate Democrat says Congress' inability to get things done is a reason lawmakers have an approval rating, in his words, "lower than North Korea's." His Republican counterpart says Democrats are manufacturing outrage to railroad their agenda.

The Sunday sparring comes on the eve of a rare closed-door session where all senators will consider a proposal that would change Senate rules to remove a 60-vote threshold for President Barack Obama's nominations to win confirmation.

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid says the changes are minimal and would help Obama round out his team with qualified nominees.

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says Reid would be "breaking the rules of the Senate in order to change the rules of the Senate."

The two appeared separately on NBC's "Meet the Press."