A new, unlikely bipartisan duo agreed Thursday to introduce legislation in the House and the Senate to ban former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said she would "co-lead" a bill with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, if they "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."
Minutes later, Ted Cruz succinctly responded: "You're on."
The exchange came after Cruz, a vocal conservative lawmaker, found himself agreeing with Ocasio-Cortez's stance that it should be illegal for lawmakers to become lobbyists once they retire from Congress.
"Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists," Cruz tweeted. "The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?"
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday afternoon that former lawmakers shouldn't join lobbying firms following an analysis claiming that nearly 60% of former lawmakers have joined a variety of lobbying jobs.
"If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check," she tweeted. "I don’t think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in Congress.
"At minimum there should be a long wait period," she added.
Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC 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? https://t.co/jPW0xkH2Yy— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 30, 2019
Of lawmakers who were part of the 115th Congress from 2017 to Jan. 3 who are working outside of politics, 59% now work for "lobbying firms, consulting firms, trade groups or business groups working to influence federal government activities," according to an analysis by Public Citizen, a progressive think tank and advocacy group.
Currently, House members are banned for one year from joining a lobbying firm after leaving office, while senators are barred for two years.
President Donald Trump has previously promised on the campaign trail to "drain the swamp." However, a number of former Trump officials have joined lobbying firms, including former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez, however, are not the only lawmakers to share the same sentiment.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who is running for president, has forcefully chided a former lawmaker for joining a lobbying firm. Warren called out on Twitter ex-Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., after she became senior adviser in Baker Donelson’s Government Relations and Public Policy Group, asking whether she was going to register as a lobbyist or "bob & weave around the rules?”
The Massachusetts Democrat has also introduced a bill that would put a lifetime ban on lobbying for former lawmakers, presidents and top executive branch appointees.
In addition, similar legislation has also been introduced in the House. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, R-Indiana, introduced a bill in the fall of 2017 that would impose a lifetime ban on lobbying by former members of Congress.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ted Cruz agrees with Ocasio-Cortez: There should be a ban on lawmakers becoming lobbyists