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Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain) Mikael Thalen

Ocasio-Cortez and Ted Cruz could become history’s unlikeliest political duo

The two may team up to take on D.C. lobbyists.

 

Mikael Thalen

Tech

Published May 30, 2019   Updated May 20, 2021, 11:33 am CDT

There’s Batman and Robin, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, and then the Walmart yodeling boy and Brother Nature. Could Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) be the next dynamic duo?

The political adversaries have agreed to take on D.C. lobbyists in what could be the most unexpected political partnership in history.

The scenario unfolded after Ocasio-Cortez called for a lifetime ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists, on Thursday.

“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.

While the tweet received widespread support from Ocasio-Cortez’s base, the message was also praised by the conservative senator.

“Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC,” Cruz tweeted. “Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists.”

Arguing that “the swamp would hate it,” Cruz questioned whether the rare political agreement with Ocasio-Cortez could lead to bipartisan cooperation.

Ocasio-Cortez quickly responded by stating that she would team up with Cruz on the condition that the bill remains free of any hidden partisan language.

“If you’re serious about a clean bill, then I’m down. Let’s make a deal,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “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.”

Judging by Cruz’s response, it appears that the unlikely duo could soon begin working to close the revolving door between Congress and K Street.

“You’re on,” Cruz replied.

Despite the politicians’ opposing ideologies, the proposed alliance received endorsements from anti-lobbying groups and other lawmakers.

Despite disagreeing with much of Ted Cruz’s politics, the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen praised his promise to work with Ocasio-Cortez.

“While we don’t agree with Ted Cruz on much, we’re glad to hear that he’s serious about cracking down on Washington’s revolving door,” the nonprofit tweeted. “No lawmaker should be cashing in on their public service by selling their contacts and expertise to the highest bidder.”

Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) also expressed his willingness to support a bill crafted by the two lawmakers.

This is not the first time for either politician to speak out against the lobbying industry. In early May, Ocasio-Cortez decried corporate lobbying after witnessing it up close. In 2015, Cruz demanded, “no more government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists, and for the lobbyists.”

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*First Published: May 30, 2019, 8:07 pm CDT