Unlikely allies


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, teaming up to push for lobbying reform? Bizarre -- and encouraging.

The Senate and the House currently impose respective two- and one-year bans on members lobbying Congress after they leave, which isn’t much better than no restriction at all. And they can lobby the White House immediately. This year alone, more than a dozen former members joined lobbying firms.

Ocasio-Cortez is among the most liberal Democrats in the House; Cruz is among the Senate’s most conservative Republicans. They don’t agree on much, but they discovered during a recent Twitter exchange that they agree former members of Congress should be banned for life from lobbying.

“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,” wrote Ocasio-Cortez, “then I’ll co-lead the bill with you.”

Cruz responded: “You’re on.” If this is for real, it could mean Congress finally stops working for special interests represented by former colleagues and starts working for the people.


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