Ted Cruz: I 'Agree' With AOC's Lifetime Ban Keeping Legislators from Lobbying

Saul Bowman
June 2, 2019

The duo found common ground after the New York Democrat called for a ban on lawmakers becoming lobbyists.

Ocasio-Cortez cited a statistic from Public Citizen, in which the advocacy group reported that among former Congress members who move to jobs outside of politics, almost 60% start lobbying or otherwise influencing federal policy.

The minimum wage is already $15 per hour in New York City, where Ocasio-Cortez was tending bar on Friday, though tipped workers make only $10 per hour (large businesses) or $9 per hour (small businesses).

"It is so real, the amount of exploitation and harassment and labor violations that you will endure for the sake and the structure of tipped work", Ocasio-Cortez said to the crowd of patrons. "The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?", he tweeted.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., say they agree that former members of Congress shouldn't become lobbyists, and they may be working toward a bill to stop the practice.

"Okay, with [Brian Schatz] + [Ted Cruz] we've got at least one [Democrat]-[Republican] team in the Senate to ban members becoming lobbyists, & myself w/ [Chip Roy] makes at least one [Democrat]-[Republican] team in the House", announced AOC.

"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.

She stipulated that they need to agree on a bill that does not contain any "partisan snuck-in clauses" or "poison pills"-just a simple bill that would prohibit members of Congress from becoming paid lobbyists when they leave office".

Cruz simply responded: "You're on". Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, agreed.

"On the 28th or 29th of the month, you will let that person touch you because of economic desperation", she said.

Craig Holman of Public Citizen called the exchange "refreshing". Dozens of former members of Congress have moved on to careers influencing the federal government on behalf of corporations, according to OpenSecrets.

Ocasio-Cortez famously tended bar and worked as a waitress in Manhattan's Union Square - not Jackson Heights, a neighborhood she now represents in Congress - in the time leading up to her historic primary victory over incumbent Joe Crowley on June 26, 2018.

She shared a video of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson saying he agreed with her that people with criminal records should be able to get housing. "They don't think about these people that, so many of us don't even know, are depending on our tips, too".

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