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ND's US senators split on Senate rules change

WASHINGTON (AP) - North Dakota's U.S. senators are split on a move by Senate Democrats to change filibuster rules that will now allow for the swift confirmation of some controversial presidential appointments.

Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp said Wednesday that the changes were necessary to end gridlock in the Senate. But she also says she's saddened it had to be done. Heitkamp says that during her campaign last year, she promised to support changes to rules if they help the Senate work more smoothly.

Republican Sen. John Hoeven says Democrats are being shortsighted and trying to distract from problems with the federal health care law. Hoeven says the rules change will make it much harder to do bipartisan work and could endanger key legislation, such as the Farm Bill, that requires bipartisan cooperation.

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