Bipartisanship may seem like a bygone concept thanks to Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is so disliked that even members of his own party have called him "Lucifer in the flesh." So it was quite a surprise to see Congress' most polarizing Republican agree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on an issue about congressional ethics — and then offer to work with her on it.
It all went down on Twitter, when Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that members of Congress shouldn't be able to become corporate lobbyists after leaving elected office. Cruz retweeted the freshman congresswoman, a Democratic Socialist, saying, "Here's something I don't say often: On this point I agree with @AOC."
In a respectful exchange via quote retweets that unfurled between the two officials yesterday afternoon, it became clear that the two politicos found common ground on a policy position (essentially "draining the swamp"), sparking a discussion about working together on a bipartisan bill to stop former members of Congress from immediately becoming paid lobbyists after leaving their political posts.
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
“Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists,” Cruz wrote. “The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”
AOC made stipulations — such as “no partisan snuck-in clauses" and "no poison pills” — but offered to work across the aisle and co-lead a new bill with Cruz. “@tedcruz if you’re serious about a clean bill, then I’m down,” she wrote. “Let’s make a deal.”
.@tedcruz if you’re serious about a clean bill, then I’m down.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 30, 2019
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. https://t.co/AZTbmdSexv
"You're on," Cruz tweeted.
Corbin Trent, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson, told the Washington Post that members of both AOC's and Cruz's staffs have been discussing getting coffee when Congress is back in session next week. Trent said he was surprised by the positive responses people have had to the idea of the two elected officials working together. Will they follow through? Refinery29 reached out to both Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Cruz’s offices for comment, and we'll update this story when we hear back.