Buffalo, New York- July 27, 2009 – The efforts of the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ received additional congressional support this past week when Congressmen Rush Holt (NJ-12), Brian Higgins (NY-27), and Chris Lee (NY-26) introduced the Snowe-Boxer ‘Ensuring One Level of Aviation Safety Act of 2009’ in the House of Representatives.
“Our entire family wishes to express our heartfelt appreciation to Congressman Holt, who represented our brother Ron in Congress, as well as to Congressmen Higgins and Lee,” stated Rebecca Gonzalez, sister of passenger Ronald Gonzalez of North Brunswick, New Jersey. “Clearly Congress must take action to make sure that the numerous oversights that led to this tragedy are not repeated, and this is another positive step in that direction. However, we cannot stop until we get the House and the Senate to come together on a single piece of legislation.”
The group also continued its push for action in the Senate, where members attended the Commerce Committee’s mark-up session on the FAA Reauthorization Bill, and also continued to meet with the offices of numerous senators. Now that the bill has passed out of the Commerce Committee, it requires additional language from the Finance Committee before it can go before the entire Senate for a vote.
Scott Maurer of Moore, South Carolina, one of the family members present in the nation’s capital this past week, called for swift action by the Finance Committee. “Obviously the health care issue is a major focus for the committee these days, but we would hate to see all the momentum gained with the safety provisions in the Reauthorization Bill wasted. There is no need to reinvent the wheel here, as the committee has already drawn up similar language during the last attempt to pass a Reauthorization Bill back in 2007. Hopefully they can get something accomplished prior to recess during the next two weeks.”
The group has vigorously lobbied in the Senate over the past two months, holding meetings with the offices of thirty-eight senators, including member meetings with Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Lindsey Graham (SC), and Senator Mark Begich (AK) during the past week. Additionally, the group conducted meetings with the staff of Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (KY), and Senator Chuck Grassley (IA), the ranking member of the Finance Committee.