This week, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape O'Rourke says he will not 'in any scenario' run for Senate MORE (R-Texas) both agreed on Twitter that the country should implement a lifetime ban on members of Congress serving as lobbyists after they leave office.

 

 

While the two are on opposite political extremes, I happen to share much of Cruz's philosophy. At the same time, I share an appreciation for Ocasio-Cortez rocking her party leadership, like then-Rep. David BratDavid Alan BratTed Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Corey Stewart to lead pro-Trump super PAC The animating forces behind the Democratic Party are true, radical leftists MORE (R-Va.) did to the GOP leadership back in 2015, as one of 25 House Republicans who voted against John Boehner's reelection as Speaker of the House.

With two and a half years of nonstop political attacks from both sides of the aisle, it looks like reform is an issue that can bring everyone together in Washington, and now, we’ve seen a perfect example of that.

Perhaps no two politicians are farther apart on the ideological spectrum than Ocasio-Cortez and Cruz when it comes to just about every other issue.

When Ocasio-Cortez Tweeted out criticism of former members of Congress who’ve become D.C. lobbyists, Cruz was quick to chime in and cite his unlikely agreement. In fact, he called for a lifetime ban. With the condition that it would be a “clean bill” in the Senate, AOC agreed to his call for bipartisan cooperation.

One of the biggest problems in our federal government is the concern about elected officials seeking self-enrichment, leading to motives beyond public service that potentially affect policy choices. A lifetime ban on lobbying would certainly be a strong, positive step.

Lobbying in the United States describes paid activity in which special interests hire well-connected professional advocates, often lawyers, to argue for specific legislation in decision-making bodies such as the United States Congress.

A definition of a lobbyist is someone "employed to persuade legislators to pass legislation that will help the lobbyist's employer." Many lobbyists work in lobbying firms or law firms, some of which retain clients outside lobbying.

This should be a no brainer issue for all members of Congress to get behind as a foundational move towards fixing our broken political system.

Average voters know that most politicians got into politics right out of college. To see these individuals then leave office and get seven-figure salaries as lobbyists simply because they were elected officials with political influence is the absolute epitome of a rigged system. If a current member knows they have a high-paying job waiting for them in the future, then they are that much more easily swayed into supporting certain legislation that some other lobbyists ask them to support. It’s astonishing to believe that this has gone on for centuries in America.

As late as 2014 I needed to run a campaign against a candidate whose wealth increased from $1 million to $13 million while he was in Congress as a public servant which helped lead to an end to insider trading by members of Congress. For decades, elected officials were able to use insider knowledge to get rich while in office. 

The next step is to stop the revolving door that lets them get rich after they finish approving money through legislation for future employers.

The system of the haves and the have-nots are at the core of this issue. It’s a rich man’s game run by favors and the buddy system.

To stop the revolving door of corruption in our nation’s capital, this is a big opportunity to put a bipartisan bill in front of Congress.

John Pudner is executive director of TakeBack.org