Ask Speaker to Drop Support for Shuster Anti-Safety Amendment Based on NTSB, FAA Opposition

Buffalo, New York- May 8, 2011 – Less than 24 hours from a Buffalo campaign appearance by Speaker of the House John Boehner, the ‘Families of Continental Flight 3407’ have still not heard back from the Speaker’s office or the Jane Corwin campaign on a request for a meeting with the Speaker. The appearance, which has generated much controversy in Buffalo, is scheduled for this Monday, May 9th, at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.

“We have received numerous media inquiries over the past few days about our feelings on the Speaker visiting our area in light of Republican House leadership’s support of the Shuster Amendment,” stated John Kausner of Clarence Center, New York, who lost his twenty-four year old daughter Elly. “We are firmly neutral in this race, and hope whoever is elected will champion our cause in Washington. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t express our disappointment in this amendment being passed by the House, especially considering that we only had 48 hours to get to Washington and try to fight it. Hopefully the Speaker will give us a chance to put a human face on this issue, and to make our case on why it is so important to stand up for safety versus the interests of big business.”

The family group, which just returned from a two-day trip to Washington where they met with the offices of 40 House Republicans, is strongly opposed to the inclusion of the Shuster provision in the final FAA Bill. The amendment would make it harder for the FAA to implement the safety reforms in the landmark aviation safety bill which the group fought for and was signed into law by the President last August, by adding additional layers to the FAA’s rulemaking process. The bill was championed by Republican congressman Bill Shuster (PA) at the behest of cargo carriers and non-scheduled operators, who are opposed to the FAA’s current pilot fatigue initiative.

“All we want is a few moments to share our stories face-to-face, to go over our safety concerns with the Shuster Amendment which have been echoed by both the NTSB and FAA, and to ask him to reconsider the House Republican leadership’s position on this issue,” stated Susan Bourque of East Aurora, New York, who lost her sister and 9/11 activist Beverly Eckert. “We strongly believe that the NTSB’s opposition to this provision should speak for itself, and again hope that our meeting request will be honored.”