Will it Help Uber and Lyft when GOP Controls Congress?
The election is long over, but the new set of Senators, Representatives, and also Governors, Mayors and other elected officials are due to be sworn in about a month. This brings about a new set of ideas to both national and state legislature.
According to New York Times, Republicans now control both houses of 29 state legislatures and picked up at least 2 governor’s seats at a total of 31 governorships, highest since 1998. This is on top of the Democratic beatdown on the national stage, losing the majority in the Senate, with Republicans now controlling both the house and Senate in Congress as well.
So how does this affect Uber and Lyft?
The economic policy of the Republican Party is a market economy free of regulations and rules. The more rules and regulations you put on that would be to hinder the economy, which is bad. Extending this thinking to Uber and Lyft, I believe that Republicans in general would support Uber and Lyft.
Here is an excerpt from a MSNBC article discussing Republicans and its relationship with Uber:
Republicans love Uber. Young urban voters love Uber. And Republicans hope that means young voters can learn to love the GOP.
Car-hailing and ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, Sidecar and others are wildly popular among wealthy, young, tech-savvy urbanites – precisely the kind of voters that the Republican Party needs to win over to remain competitive in the long run. Those same services also just happen to be warring with government regulators in cities across the country over whether the upstarts are operating illegally as unlicensed taxi services.
The Republican Party is in love with Uber, and it wants to publicly display its affection all over the Internet.
Uber, Lyft and Airbnb have become mascots for a Republican Party looking to promote a new brand of free market conservatism while making inroads with young voters.
Though the companies were engineered in the Democratic bastion of Silicon Valley, Republicans seeking to promote their party as freedom-loving and tech savvy are latching on to them.
Regulation of Uber and Lyft
Much of the regulations and policies on Uber and Lyft have been coming from the local government, whether it is from the state or city level. The two most closely contested areas for rideshare now is Illinois and Massachusetts:
Illinois: There was a bill being put up to vote in the state legistature that would require all Uber and Lyft cars to get commercial insurance and a chauffeur’s license, which would make it prohibitively expensive. It was called HB 4075. From the grassroots efforts of Uber and Lyft, they managed to change the votes of enough representatives to have the bill shot down. However, the incoming Republican Illinois Governor is strongly in favor of Uber. He went so far as to urge the outgoing Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to veto the bill if it made it pass the legislature.
Massachusetts: At a purely local level in Boston, many people on the rideshare panel are not in favor of Uber and Lyft operating as they are today, but many of them admitted that they used it in the council meeting last month. Many of them don’t really understand how it works but they personally believe that it is illegal and should be shut down. Much of the meeting last month revolved around how Lyft and Uber worked, including their comprehensive background checks and driver record checks.
The most recent meeting that took place a few days ago was more of the same. Not much was discussed, except for a long line of testimony about Uber and Lyft that went on for about 7 or 8 hours.
Despite what is going on with this rideshare panel, both the current Boston Mayor and incoming Massachusetts Governor are in support of Uber and Lyft. The outgoing Governor even went so far to say that regardless of what happens at the city level, a bill to legalize such services will still happen.
Will there be less regulation with the GOP controlling Congress?
It is not to say that Democrats were against Uber and Lyft. As a party, they have not picked a side in the rideshare debate and many have chosen their own view on the issue. I believe the debates over regulation and insurance haven’t really taken off yet so many of these debates and regulations are mostly at the local level, save for California, Colorado, and Illinois, to name a few, who have state-wide laws that approve of their services. Over the next year or two, we will be seeing this debate head to the state legislatures in many states.
So far, the new laws have been in favor of Uber and Lyft, which may be a good sign of things to come for Lyft and Uber. However, the road to legalization is a long and tough road.
Have more questions about Uber or Lyft? Head on over to our Rideshare Driver Training Course!