Press Releases


Durbin, Bipartisan Senators Call on President of Azerbaijan to Halt Human Rights Abuses, Resect Freedom of the Press

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led a group of 15 Republican and Democratic senators calling on President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan to immediately halt human rights abuses, respect the freedom of the press, and allow the reopening of Radio Free Europe. "Over the past year, numerous human rights organizations have continuously raised concerns that there appears to be a systematic crackdown on human rights and independent civil society, including the freedom … Continue Reading


Durbin, Kelly Announce Joint Pet Coke Legislation

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL-02) met with residents of Chicago's Southeast Side today to announce they are co-sponsoring legislation that will address the concerns of petroleum coke on a national level and open the door for federal environmental safety regulations on the tar sands byproduct. The Petroleum Coke Transparency and Public Health Act of 2015 would for the first time require a federal study into the health and environmental impa… Continue Reading


Following Alarming Report, Durbin Calls for Defense Department Investigation into University of Phoenix Marketing Practices

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following the publication of an article by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting that documents University of Phoenix's deceptive marketing practices and its infringement on military trademarks, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) - Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense - called on the Department of Defense to investigate the allegations made in the report and take immediate action to bar the company from further access to service member… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Opening of Embassies with Cuba

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced today that the U.S. and Cuba have reached an agreement to open embassies in each other's capitals. "Opening our embassy in Havana will begin to open Cuba to the value of our democracy," said Durbin. "Our foreign policy over the last 50 years in Cuba has failed to end the Castro dictatorship. The power of new ideas and the force of an open… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Legislation to Combat Heroin Epidemic

[HOFFMAN ESTATES, IL] - In an effort to prevent drug tragedies and combat a nationwide surge of lethal drug overdoses, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with advocates, law enforcement officials, health professionals, and people recovering from heroin and opioid addiction to discuss ways to combat the problem. Durbin recently co-sponsored bills to expand treatment for heroin addiction and expand access to naloxone - a drug that counters the effects of an opioid overdose - and other drug … Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Need for Long-Term Transportation Bill with Mt. Vernon Leaders

[MOUNT VERNON] - Without Congressional action, transportation funding will stop flowing to states infrastructure projects in Illinois and across the country will be seriously jeopardized, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today while meeting with Mount Vernon leaders. It's been more than a month since the Senate passed a two-month stop-gap measure to keep the country's major transportation and infrastructure programs running through the end of July, when the Highway Trust Fund is expected to … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Local Family Caregivers, Calls for Expansion of VA Caregiver Program

[MARION, IL] - After introducing legislation to expand the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Caregiver Program earlier this year, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with family caregivers of seriously injured veterans to hear how their lives have changed as a result of the program. The Caregiver Program - created through language Durbin included in the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2009 - provides home health training, peer support, and a financial stipend … Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Strength of Illinois' Bid for National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

[SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed his support for Illinois' bid to house the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) that would bring 3,150 jobs to the region. Scott Air Force Base is a finalist location for a new facility to replace NGA's current downtown St. Louis location. Durbin, who is the ranking member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, met with NGA Director Robert Cardillo last week in Washington to discuss the benefits of Illi… Continue Reading


Durbin In Haiti To Assess U.S. Assistance Programs Five Years After Devastating Earthquake And Cross-Border Issues With The Dominican Republic

[PORT AU PRINCE] - Assistant Senate Democratic Leader, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was in Haiti this weekend to meet with top Haitian officials and asses the status of U.S. assistance programs five years after the country's devastating earthquake. Durbin traveled with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL). They also addressed the current cross-border issues with the Dominican Republic relative to registration of Haitian emigres. The senators met with Haitian President Michel Martelly, U.S. A… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Supreme Court Ruling In Favor of Marriage Equality

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality in Obergefell v. Hodges. "This is a great day for marriage equality and a historic day for civil rights in our country," said Durbin. "The decision by the Supreme Court affirms that same-sex couples across the nation have the right to marry whom they love and to participate fully - with their families - in the rights and responsibilit… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Ruling on King v. Burwell

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell: Memo to the non-stop critics of the Affordable Care Act: stop trying to kill this program and work to make it stronger. The Supreme Court's decision protects the health insurance of 240,000 Illinoisans and 6.5 million Americans nationwide. America will not return to the days when millions were uninsured and the c… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Introduce Bill to Expand Lincoln Heritage Area in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) joined U.S. Representatives Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.-18), Mike Bost (R-Ill.-12), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.-17), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.-13) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.-15) to introduce the bipartisan, bicameral Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area Amendment Act, which would add Livingston County, the City of Freeport in Stephenson County, and the City of Jonesboro in Union County to the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. … Continue Reading


Durbin, Quigley Call on Supreme Court to Bring Live Audio to the Courtroom

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), author of the bipartisan Cameras in the Courtroom Act, and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Co-Chair of the Transparency Caucus, led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Chief Justice John Roberts urging the Supreme Court to allow live audio in the chamber in light of the historic nature of the upcoming rulings on same-sex marriage and the Affordable Care Act. "Decisions made by the Supreme Court impact the lives of Americans in e… Continue Reading


Durbin Speaks on Senate Floor Following Severe Storm Damage in North Central Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As recovery efforts continue in response to tornadoes that damaged communities in north central Illinois Monday evening, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the United States Senate Floor to offer condolences to Illinois families impacted by the storms, and to commend the state and local response to the devastation. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has declared Lee and Grundy Counties - which include the hard-hit community of Coal City, Illinois - as state disaster … Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Carper & Blumenthal to Introduce Legislation to Protect Veterans and Military Students

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to introduce the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act of 2015 to close a loophole that allows for-profit schools to avoid having to secure at least 10 percent of their revenue from non-federal sources. This is the third consecutive Congress in which Sen. Carper has introduced legislation to close the 90/10 loophole. Joining him this year, along with Sens. Durb… Continue Reading


Durbin Leads Members of Congress in Calling on VA to Investigate ITT Tech - The Third Largest Recipient of GI Bill Benefits

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) and 20 of their colleagues in sending a letter to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) asking the Department to investigate ITT Tech - a for-profit college that is the third largest recipient of GI Bill benefits despite being under investigation by at least 18 state Attorneys General and being sued by two federal agencies. "You know how critical GI Bill benefits are to our veterans and th… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Decision by D.C. District Court to Uphold Gainful Employment Regulations

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today praised the decision by the Washington, D.C. District Court to uphold the Department of Education's "gainful employment" regulation in its entirety, just as prior courts have concluded. The regulation was challenged in a lawsuit brought by a for-profit college group, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities. "Today's ruling is good news for students - too many of whom have been lured into worthless for-profit college p… Continue Reading


Senators Seek to Reduce Drug Deaths With Overdose Prevention Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In an effort to prevent drug tragedies and combat a nationwide surge of lethal drug overdoses, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jack Reed (D-RI) today introduced the Overdose Prevention Act. This legislation would expand access to naloxone, as well as drug overdose prevention programs that have been proven to save lives. Drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C… Continue Reading


Senators Ask for Study on Feasibility of Single Food Safety Agency

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today called for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study into the feasibility of creating a single food agency to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and improve safety. Each year 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating unsafe food. The annual costs associated with these foodborne illnesses, including medical costs… Continue Reading


Durbin, Army Corps and City Officials Cut Ribbon on Montrose to Irving Park Section of Chicago Shoreline Protection Project

CHICAGO - Another major portion of the Chicago Shoreline Protection Project is now open, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and officials from the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Chicago Park District (CPD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced today at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Montrose Avenue to Irving Park Road section of the project. This section is part of the ongoing effort to restore and secure 9.5 miles of deteriorated revetment. The project, which … Continue Reading

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