Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ted Cruz, ideologically incompatible, find common ground. Will they really author a law together?
Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a champion for grassroots movements who has consistently spoken out against congressional corruption, has found an unlikely ally in Senator Ted Cruz. These two ideological opposites started talks, albeit informally, to author a bill that would potentially prevent, prohibit, or ban Congressmen and women from becoming lobbyists after their tenure.
No one could have imagined these two would ever broker a deal. Ted Cruz is a pro-gun, anti-communist with policies and views unfavorable to immigrants, and a staunch critic of Obamacare. He also failed to beat Trump at the 2016 elections, criticizing him heavily, but then flip-flopping to support him. Ocasio-Cortez became a sensation after her upset victory against incumbent Jospeh Crowley. She describes herself as a Democratic Socialist and has become the face of progressive politics in the United States. It's a total mismatch if there ever was one.
It all started when AOC posted an article from Public Citizen that gave numbers about the percentage of former elected officials who later went on to become lobbyists for corporate interests, thus incurring in conflicts of interest. "These revolving-door lawmakers cash in on their connections by representing wealthy special interests who can afford to pay top dollar for insider influence," said the article. AOC was quick to point out the problem with this while also providing a solution: "If you are a member of Congress + leave,” tweeted Ocasio-Cortez “you shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around & leverage your service for a lobbyist check. I don’t think it should be legal at ALL to become a corporate lobbyist if you’ve served in Congress."
Then, Cruz came along to launch the entire situation into a very surreal moment, especially for Ocasio-Cortez: “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 Texas senator continued. “The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”
AOC quickly accepted the invitation and answered "[email protected] 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." While Ted Cruz tweeted back the two words that could clean his image at least a little bit for the years to come: "You're on."
Both members of Congress gathered much support during the following hours, providing hope for bipartisan laws and common ground that could actually end up draining the swamp. We'll have to wait to see what they come up with, but for now, at least we can agree with Cruz for once: it's on.