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Mr. Reid called their criticism “unfounded” and cited five government watchdog groups that hailed the legislation, including Common Cause, Public Citizen and the League of Women Voters.

Senate leadership aides on both sides of the aisle said the bill will likely win the 67 votes needed to pass rules legislation.

In the House, the ‘no’ votes were cast by two Republicans and six Democrats, including Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat and chairman of the Appropriations defense subcommittee, who previously blasted ethics reforms as meaningless.

Under the legislation, members of Congress would have to take a one-year “cooling off” period before working as lobbyists and would be prohibited from collecting a federal pension if they are convicted of corruption charges.