For the last nine years, Christmas hasn't been the same for the Eckert family.

"Every single Christmas, she was here, and I can just remember her sitting in this room,” said Karen Eckert. “It was always a joyous occasion when she was here.”

Her sister Beverly was one of the 50 people who died in the Flight 3407 crash in Clarence Center in February 2009.

"She was just a lot of fun. She was really smart. She was really talented," said Eckert.

The National Transportation Safety Board ruled pilot error and lack of training were the causes of the crash.

In the two years following, families were in D.C. every two weeks pushing for stricter pilot rest and flight time requirements.

"It has made our skies safer," said Eckert.

Many of those regulations are now in effect, but the one requiring 1,500 hours of flight time for pilots continues to draw criticism from some lawmakers, including Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, who says regional airlines aren't able to get captains and first officers who meet those standards, so many regionals have canceled flights in his state.

He put an amendment in the FAA Reauthorization Bill to weaken that standard back to 600 hours. Families lobbied in D.C. this summer to stop that from happening.

"Jeff Skiles, the 'Miracle on the Hudson' first officer there, shook his hand and said ‘Senator Thune, don't do this, this is not good for safety.’ He pushed it through on a strict party line vote and it was devastating," said Eckert.

Even though it passed committee, it appeared that Thune didn't have the support of the full Congress, and there were rumors that he was going to withdraw the amendment. But families say now, he's allegedly trying a different measure to get it through.

"We heard he's going to lean on the Trump administration to do something by executive action to just kind of ramrod it through without elected officials and that's what we are very upset about. You just think, maybe today, it will be the last time. But I guess we just learned it's never-ending," said Eckert.

At this point, there's no timeframe on when that may happen, but families say they're prepared to head to D.C. at a moment's notice.

The White House and Sen. Thune did not immediately return requests for comment.