Uber, Lyft anger Congress by skipping hearing

Uber and Lyft skipped their day before Congress.

The ride-sharing companies declined to make a Wednesday appearance before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Highway and Transit.

The hearing, "Examining the Future of Transportation Network Companies: Challenges and Opportunities," delved into issues that affect the ride-sharing industry.

"Uber and Lyft have missed an important opportunity for them, but that will not stop this committee or this subcommittee from doing its duty," Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) lamented Wednesday.

Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio from Oregon, the committee’s chair, sent an angry letter to both companies about the decision to skip the hearing.

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UBER UBER TECHNOLOGIES INC. 56.40 +0.19 +0.34%

"Uber staff suggested that we invite third party industry associations to generally talk about technology innovation in transportation," DeFazio wrote. This was something that the congressman determined "was unacceptable."

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LYFT LYFT INC. 11.63 +0.37 +3.29%

"I intend to pursue legislative solutions to address numerous issues plaguing the ride hailing industry, many of which will be raised at this hearing," DeFazio said in a press release. "These include conditions governing your partnerships with States and local governments and transit agencies, the labor impacts of your business model, and disturbing reports of public safety problems among those who use your platform. If you do not send a representative to testify at the hearing, you leave the Committee little choice but to make these policy decisions without your input."

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana, testified on behalf of the National League of Cities. A representative from the AFL-CIO and the Transportation Alliance also appeared.