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Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she is “encouraged” by her ongoing legislative efforts with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex), even while acknowledging that it is “super bizarre” to be working with such a conservative legislator.
Ocasio-Cortez and Cruz are working on drafting legislation which would ban for life any former member of Congress from becoming a lobbyist.
The duo’s effort began uniquely enough. The pair are known as regular antagonists on Twitter but in this case their tweets led to common ground and a partnership.
“And what we found was that out of all these members, only two are actual registered lobbyists. So there’s still a question here that we’re trying to figure out in this collaboration, is: How far he’s willing to go. Is it just a matter of the law or is he serious about really banning lobbying in spirit? So I’m really looking forward to seeing where and how far they’d be willing to move on that. And I’m encouraged.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Tex), who represents the Austin area, once worked as Cruz’s chief of staff, “and he reached out to us as well,” said Ocasio-Cortez, who has been chiefly known in her brief tenure as the leader of the progressive Green New Deal.
“You know, I think there’s some wiggle room here. It’s super bizarre, really weird. I never thought in my life that one of my first pushes would be alongside Ted Cruz, but I think it really shows what the true spirit of not being partisan is, and that bipartisanship doesn’t mean let’s come together to go to war and lower taxes on the rich,” she said. “But bipartisanship means: Okay, I will swallow all of my distaste in this situation because we have found a common interest. And common cause, I think, can transcend partisanship and I think that’s the way that we should go.”