Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the newest political figure everyone loves or loves to hate. From her ‘Green New Deal’ proposal to combat climate change to her clapbacks against Trump and her critics, here’s how AOC danced her way into the spotlight.
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.
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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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