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AOC, Ted Cruz May Team Up on New Lobbying Ban

AOC, Ted Cruz May Team Up on New Lobbying Ban

Progressive U.S. House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is gaining support from a most unusual source, arch-conservative Republican Senator Ted Cruz, for her suggestion to ban lobbying by former members of Congress.

“Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC,” wrote Cruz, an ally of President Donald Trump, in response to her message on Twitter Thursday. “The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”

Ocasio-Cortez of New York, the most visible of Congress’s new progressive insurgents, didn’t immediately agree, tweeting back that she’d only pair with Cruz if they could “agree on a bill with no partisan snuck-in clauses, no poison pills, etc.”

“Then I’ll co-lead the bill with you,” she wrote.

“You’re on,” Cruz responded.

Trump campaigned in 2016 on a promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but little has been done to tighten ethics rules aside from a bill passed this year by House Democrats and ignored by Senate Republicans.

Ted Cruz

@tedcruz
You’re on.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

@AOC
.@tedcruz if you’re serious about a clean bill, then I’m down.

Let’s make a deal.

If we can agree on a bill with no partisan snuck-in clauses, no poison pills, etc – just a straight, clean ban on members of Congress becoming paid lobbyists – then I’ll co-lead the bill with you. https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/1134166282071412741 …

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Current rules bar former members of the House of Representatives from lobbying their old colleagues for a year after leaving. The Senate has a two-year ban.

“I don’t think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “At minimum there should be a long wait period.”

Yet many lawmakers — such as former House Speaker John Boehner, who joined the board of marijuana company Acreage Holdings Inc. — provide advice on policy for companies, which isn’t covered by the lobbying ban because it doesn’t involve cajoling their onetime colleagues in Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez cited a report from the watchdog group Public Citizen that said almost 60% of the lawmakers who left Congress last year have taken have taken jobs influencing policy.

“It is understandably unpopular to discuss giving Congress any raises or perks – & bc of that, there’s incentive to keep $ loopholes open,” she wrote.

In March, Cruz tweeted a message by another ideological opposite, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who said Facebook Inc. has too much power over speech online.

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