3407 Victims' Family Members Meet With Top Politician

May 9, 2011 Updated May 9, 2011 at 6:39 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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May 9, 2011 Updated May 9, 2011 at 6:39 PM EDT

LANCASTER, NY (WKBW) -- Family members of victims of Flight 3407 had the chance to meet with Speaker of the House John Boehner for about 20 minutes while he was in town for a political fundraiser in Lancaster on Monday. "We presented our thoughts and our concerns. We spoke a little about our loved one who was on the plane and I think we had an honest exchange," Susan Bourque, whose sister died in the 3407 plane crash, said.

The families say they let Boehner know they strongly oppose the Shuster Amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Bill which they say after becoming law would prevent last August's landmark aviation safety legislation from being translated into effective regulations. "It makes it almost impossible for the FAA to pass regulations. They are already real slow, 20 years to pass a single safety legislation...we will probably never see enacted the rules that 3407 brought to life the need for safety, because it will slow the process down so much," John Kausner, whose daughter died in the 3407 plane crash, said. "This bill came in, in the last moment for FAA Authorization and it doesn't belong there. We are hoping to take it out. Just adds layers of review and makes it virtually impossible for anybody like us to have something done. Any right thinking person would say the amendment does not belong in the bill."

The families say they believe House Speaker Boehner will help, but if the opposed amendment is passed they will continue to fight it. "We can't put our guard down," Karen Eckert, whose sister died in the 3407 plane crash, said.

"I think that's an important part we wanted to make with Boehner was that, we understand that this could take years but we are not going to stop fighting, we are going to keep coming back," Bourque said.

"It's over two years since this happened but we can't forget about the lives that we lost," Kevin Kuwik, whose fiance died in the 3407 plane crash, said. "When it comes to safety the government has to be involved and if you give the Airlines a break that's when flight 3407 happens."

"This is our fight to make this for everybody and I do believe the speaker listened to what we have to say," Robin Tolsma, whose husband died in the 3407 plane crash, said.

"Hopefully {Boehner} will think of us more as real people and not just numbers," Karen Wielinski, whose husband died in the 3407 plane crash, said. "We can only hope he will have some impact on this."