U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York.
Jack Gruber, USA TODAY: Cruz/REUTERS/Jeenah Moon: Ocasio-Cortez

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz committed on Thursday to partner up with his political opposite, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to move legislation that would ban members of Congress from becoming corporate lobbyists after they leave public life.

The coming together played out over Twitter. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, tweeted Thursday afternoon a statistic from Public Citizen, an ethics watchdog founded by Ralph Nader, stating that nearly 60 percent of members of Congress eventually go on to lobbying careers.

“If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check,” Ocasio-Cortez 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.”

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Cruz, a Texas Republican, responded to her an hour-and-a-half later, writing, “Here’s something I don’t say often: on this point, I AGREE with @AOC.”

He added that he has long backed a lifetime lobbying ban for former members of Congress.

“The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?” Cruz added.

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The exchange between the hard-line conservative Texan and the liberal favorite from New York made the political world pause.

Ocasio-Cortez responded on Twitter that she was “down” with making a deal with Cruz, as long as the legislation had “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.”

Cruz’s response in a follow-up tweet was succinct: “You’re on.”

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