Cruz pitches Ocasio-Cortez on bill to make birth control available over the counter

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump circuit court nominee in jeopardy amid GOP opposition Trump has officially appointed one in four circuit court judges On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war MORE (R-Texas) is looking to join forces with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezSanders 'very concerned about what appears to be a coup' in Bolivia Trump celebrates resignation of Bolivia's president Sanders touts big crowds in Iowa rallies with Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.) on legislation that would make over-the-counter birth control legal.

The GOP Texas senator on Wednesday offered to team up with her to create a "simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter," a move that comes just weeks after he offered to take up lobbyist reform with her. 

"Perhaps, in addition to the legislation we are already working on together to ban Members of Congress from becoming lobbyists, we can team up here as well," Cruz said on Twitter, quoting a tweet from Ocasio-Cortez last week in which she argued for making birth control obtainable over the counter.

Cruz added that he was open to creating a "simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter," before asking if Ocasio-Cortez would be interested. 

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Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez became an unlikely pairing on an issue involving lobbyist reform earlier this month. The two said that their offices were holding staff-level meetings on efforts to pass a lifetime ban on former lawmakers lobbying.

The collaboration came after Cruz voiced on Twitter that he agreed with Ocasio-Cortez's argument that it should be illegal for former members of Congress to become corporate lobbyists.

“I have long called for a LIFETIME BAN on former Members of Congress becoming lobbyists,” Cruz tweeted in late May. “The Swamp would hate it, but perhaps a chance for some bipartisan cooperation?”

“If you’re serious about a clean bill, then I’m down. Let’s make a deal," Ocasio-Cortez responded. 

A woman's access to birth control is currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, The Independent Journal Review noted. Current regulations stipulate that a woman must receive a prescription from a physician to gain access to hormonal contraceptive pills. 

Ocasio-Cortez's argument regarding birth control comes as many state legislatures pass measures to enforce further restrictions around abortions. The freshman lawmaker has denounced the bills, saying abortion bans are about "controlling women’s sexuality" and "owning women."

"From limiting birth control to banning comprehensive sex ed, US religious fundamentalists are working hard to outlaw sex that falls outside their theology," she tweeted in May. 

Rep. Ayanna Presley (D-Mass.) voiced enthusiasm for Cruz’s support, saying that he should reach out to Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayRetirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments Senate Democrats call on White House to abandon plan to collect DNA from migrants Overnight Health Care: Judge temporarily blocks Alabama near-total abortion ban | Sanders dismisses calls for 'Medicare for All' funding plan | Dems urge Trump not to back down on vaping flavor ban MORE (D-Wash.) about a bill that’s already been written on the issue. 

“We've always believed affordable, accessible birth control isn't just a women's issue so look forward to you co-sponsoring,” she added, before highlighting the support the bill has received from male lawmakers such as Rep. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraOne year out, moderate Dems on track to keep the House Democrat unveils bill capping number of ambassadors who are political appointees Democrats bicker over strategy on impeachment MORE (D-Calif.).

--Updated Wednesday, 4:31 p.m.