Polar opposites Ted Cruz, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez find common ground on ‘draining the swamp’

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo by nrkbeta license CC SA 2.0 via Flickr

One might think of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz as being on the opposite ends of the political spectrum. Ocasio-Cortez fights for the rights of workers and has proposed the Green New Deal, a comprehensive plan to battle the ongoing climate crisis we’re facing. Cruz, staunchly conservative, has tried to attack Ocasio-Cortez in the past, only to have that backfire squarely in his face.

But now the two have found something to agree on, Mediaite reports. Both want to ban Congress members from becoming lobbyists when they retire. Cruz (R-Texas) even noted this on Twitter.

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“Here’s something that I don’t say often: I agree with AOC,” he wrote. “Indeed I have long called for a lifetime ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists. The swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”

Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was responding to a report by Public Citizen. The report from the liberal think-tank found that nearly 60 percent of former members of Congress from its last session are now working in lobbying jobs. Most notably, Democrat Joe Crowley, whom she defeated in the 2018 primary is on that list.

“I don’t think it should be legal at all to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in congress,” she wrote. “At minimum, there should be a long wait period.”

Her tweet was part of a longer thread in which she commented that the ban on lobbying should include an honest discussion on congressional pay rates. And along the way, she really made a number of excellent points. One of her main points is that because this system is the way it is, loopholes are created that benefit no one except the former Congress members themselves and the very wealthy.

USA Today reports that as it stands right now, House members are banned from joining lobbying firms for one year after their departure.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is also fighting on this battlefield, having introduced legislation to place a lifetime ban on lobbying for former legislators, presidents, and key executive branch appointees. Warren took to Twitter to criticize former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), who became a senior adviser in Baker Donelson’s Government Relations and Public Policy Group. Warren wanted to know if she was going to register as a lobbyist or “bob and weave around the rules?”

On the 2016 campaign trail, President Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” of lobbyists. But, like so many of the promises he made, this one was broken and many former Trump administration officials have joined lobbying firms.

But the fact that Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez have found a bipartisan issue they can agree on is a hopeful sign. More of this, please!

Featured image by nrkbeta license CC SA 2.0 via Flickr