Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Hoyer, and Whip Scalise:
On behalf of the undersigned organizations, representing millions of taxpayers and consumers, we write to express serious concerns with H.R. 1082 (“Sami’s Law”).1 However well-intentioned, this bill is deeply flawed. Our organizations oppose the bill in its current form and urge you to not rush it to the floor of the House and bypass the committee process.
In recent years, transportation network companies (TNCs) have changed the way millions of Americans travel, while offering hundreds of thousands of part-time drivers the opportunity to earn extra income. As with any mode of transportation, safety is a legitimate concern for both drivers and riders utilizing TNC platforms. Riders will not use TNCs if they do not feel safe, regardless of the flexibility TNC platforms offer. Drivers, too, will not use TNCs if they cannot guarantee their safety with all passengers, regardless of the money they can earn utilizing TNC platforms.
All of the above reasons are why some of the largest TNCs have invested time, money, and resources in not only making their platforms, drivers, and riders safer,2 but also in making these efforts transparent with the public.3 Unfortunately, H.R. 1082 threatens to upend some of this private-sector progress, especially if passed quickly and without debate in the House. Unfunded federal mandates will slow down ongoing safety efforts at large TNCs and create significant barriers to entry for small and mid-sized TNCs looking to compete in this new market.
The imposition of federal mandates also could not come at a worse time for TNC drivers. Significant and unexpected costs could reduce opportunities for drivers, at a time when scores of Americans are looking to substitute a loss of income with gig economy opportunities.
Bypassing the committee process and bringing H.R. 1082 directly to the floor of the House would foreclose all opportunities to improve the bill and address its shortcomings. This bill, as with most that are introduced in Congress, deserves open, transparent, and public debate. Rushing the process is a disservice to consumers, taxpayers, and the millions of people who drive or ride through TNC platforms. We urge you to slow this process down and not to bring this legislation directly to the floor.
National Taxpayers Union
Americans for Prosperity
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste