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Cruz floats legislation with Ocasio-Cortez after agreeing on over-the-counter birth control

Washington (CNN) – Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz asked New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez if she would want to team up to make birth control available over-the-counter.

Cruz, one of the Senate’s most conservative members, made the suggestion via Twitter Wednesday to Ocasio-Cortez, the freshman congresswoman who has built a reputation as one of the more progressive members of Congress. The exchange comes after the unlikely duo came together on Twitter late last month when the pair agreed that Congress should ban former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists.

On Wednesday, Cruz responded to a June 7 tweet from Ocasio-Cortez in which she said “birth control should be over-the-counter.”

“I agree. 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. A simple, clean bill making birth control available over the counter. Interested?” Cruz tweeted.

CNN has reached out to representatives for both Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez.

Notably, after her initial tweet saying birth control should be over-the-counter, Ocasio-Cortez added, “(It should be free, too – like in the UK!)”

There has been a growing push in the US to make birth control pills available without a prescription, although previous efforts have faced political resistance. Cecile Richards, then the head of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, argued in a 2014 opinion piece that an over-the-counter proposal would make birth control less available, as women would have to pay out-of-pocket for a non-prescription pill, while under the Affordable Care Act, women could obtain birth control without a co-pay.

In the same article, however, Richards said she supported “making it available over the counter, in addition to requiring insurance plans to cover it — but not instead of requiring no co-pay coverage.”

Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview last week that her and Cruz’s legislative teams were meeting to work on a bill to ban former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists and that she was “encouraged” thus far. That proposal picked up support from other lawmakers on Twitter.

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