Durbin Discusses Priorities for Creating Jobs and Growing America's Middle Class

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – During a press conference with Senate Democratic Leadership, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed Senate Democrats’ commitment to creating jobs and providing economic certainty for America’s middle class. Senator Durbin spoke on several issues including extending federal unemployment benefits, helping hardworking families tackle the burden of student loan debt, and raising the federal minimum wage. The first bill the Senate will consider when it returns in January will be an extension of unemployment benefits for those still struggling to get back on their feet.


“This issue of unemployment benefits means that about 1.3 million Americans are going to see their benefits cut, 63,000 in my home state of Illinois. For many of these people, unemployment benefits are their only source of income. It may mean the difference of whether they're homeless or have a place to live. Including workers' families, nearly 69 million people, including 17 million children, were supported by extended unemployment insurance benefits. If we really care about working families and those who are on their way back to work, we've got to extend these unemployment benefit.”


“And the last point I want to make, if we're sensitive to the needs of working families, we cannot ignore the burden that many of these families face because of student loan debt. I just completed a press conference this morning with Elizabeth Warren and Jack Reed. Barbara Boxer is joining us in this effort. It is time for us to tackle head-on this unfair treatment of students and their families across America and the economic burden it creates for them and the drag it creates on our economy. When we return next year, we need to make working families our highest priority.”


Earlier this month, Durbin, Reed and Warren joined U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in introducing the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Act to ensure struggling student loan borrowers are treated fairly and understand the full range of repayment options and resources available to them.