Durbin: This Spending Package Is A Testament To The Progress We've Made During The Past Year Of The Democratic Majority

In speech on the Senate floor, Durbin urges the Senate to pass the omnibus to provide humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine; provide funds to Illinois communities; re-authorize VAWA; and more

WASHINGTON  U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, took to the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to pass the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Omnibus. The funding will reduce the cost of living for working families, create good-paying jobs, ensure families and children can access critical supplies, provide more than $13 billion to Ukrainians, make critical investments in our future, and much more.

“Ukraine needs humanitarian, military, and economic aid today. That is exactly what this omnibus bill will provide - billions of dollars in military equipment and intelligence support, and even more billions in emergency supplies, food aid, health care, migration and refugee assistance. This is how America stands by our fellow defenders of democracy at their darkest hour,” said Durbin.

Durbin spoke on the need to pass this package for our domestic priorities as well. Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) secured more than $210 million dollars in funding to Illinois through congressionally directed funding or earmarks.

“This funding is going to help build localities in Illinois, launch important infrastructure [projects], access to health care, environmental conservation, strengthen community violence prevention initiatives, support nonprofits doing important work throughout our state, and much more,” Durbin continued.

The omnibus will also re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), a priority for Durbin. The legislation includes a bipartisan bill that Durbin introduced last month with Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Joni Ernst (R-IA) to strengthen and modernize VAWA—which has provided a lifeline to survivors of sexual and domestic violence for nearly 30 years.

The bill also provides billions of dollars for research - investments that will keep America on the cutting-edge of innovation when it comes to life-saving medical treatments, therapies, and so much more. The bill provides the National Institutes of Health (NIH) with $45 billion – a $2.25 billion increase (or more than five percent increase) over last year.  Over the last seven years, Durbin has successfully worked on a bipartisan basis to increase NIH’s funding by nearly 45 percent.

Durbin concluded, “Let me close by saying besides the omission of additional COVID relief, there is much to celebrate in the spending package. In the face of Russia’s horrible invasion of Ukraine, an invasion that's already created two million Ukrainian refugees, we are standing together in defense of democracy…With the spending package before this Senate, we can begin building our own future as well [as] a future made in America.”

 Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.