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Senate leaders urged to avoid showdown on Obama nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senators said on Monday that no agreement had yet been reached to avert a showdown over President Barack Obama's executive-branch nominees and threats by Democrats to strip Republicans of their filibuster power to block such nominations.

As the talks entered their fourth hour, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer said a deal was unlikely on Monday, but Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss said the chamber's two leaders, Democrat Harry Reid and Republican Mitch McConnell, were urged to keep trying to find common ground.

Votes are set for Tuesday on seven of Obama's nominees.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Jon Tester indicated progress, telling reporters: "The two sides aren't off by far."

(Reporting By Thomas Ferraro and David Lawder; Editing by Paul Simao)

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