Ted Cruz says he backs Ocasio-Cortez on lifetime lobbying ban for lawmakers

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOcasio-Cortez and Cruz's dialogue shows common ground isn't just for moderates Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists Ted Cruz, AOC have it right on banning former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists MORE (R-Texas) said Thursday that he agrees with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezPolice say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Police say man trespassed into Ocasio-Cortez's office Ocasio-Cortez starts petition to repeal Hyde Amendment MORE (D-N.Y.) about putting in place a lifetime ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that former members “shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around&leverage your service for a lobbyist check,” adding that she prefers for former members to not be able to lobby at all.

Cruz, a conservative, tweeted that he agreed with her, which he admitted is something he doesn’t say often about the progressive lawmaker on the other end of the political spectrum.

“Indeed, I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists,” Cruz wrote.

Senators are banned from lobbying Congress for two years after leaving office, while House members are banned for one year.

In the 2019 class of lawmakers-turned-lobbyists, 15 former members are lobbying at firms and two started their own firms, The Hill reported last week.

Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet was in response to a Public Citizen report that 59 percent, which is 26 out of 44, former members in the class of 2019 took lobbying jobs or jobs influencing policy. 

Lawmakers who head to the private sector have been facing new scrutiny from critics who say former members are taking on lobbying work even when they don’t officially register to lobby.

Other lawmakers have expressed the concerns as Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez, most notably presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' Julián Castro defends going on Fox: I'm focused on 'the people out there watching' O'Rourke unveils plan to support women, minority-owned businesses MORE (D-Mass.).

She introduced a bill that includes a lifetime ban on lobbying by former lawmakers, presidents and top executive branch appointees.

Rep. Trey HollingsworthJoseph (Trey) Albert HollingsworthOcasio-Cortez, Cruz lobbying ban faces tough hurdles Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz lobbying ban faces tough hurdles 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (R-Ind.) introduced legislation in February that would ban former members of Congress from registering to become lobbyists.