Press Releases

09.26.16

Durbin, Senators Demand Answers On Government Use Of Private Prisons

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined leading Democratic Senators to press the Obama administration on the use of private prisons and contract facilities by the Department of Homeland Security. The letter comes amid an internal review at DHS regarding its use of private prisons, and the Senators urged DHS to ensure the review was meaningful and genuine. In their letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the Senators state that "we strongly oppose the use of for-profit prison compan… Continue Reading


09.23.16

Durbin, Warren, Schatz Introduce Bill To Reform College Accreditation And Strengthen Accountability For Students And Taxpayers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Accreditation Reform and Enhanced Accountability Act of 2016 (AREAA), which seeks to reduce student debt and protect students and taxpayers by reforming higher education accreditation and strengthening the Department of Education's (ED) ability to hold accreditors accountable. College accreditation is the cornerstone of the nation's higher education quality assurance system, with accre… Continue Reading


09.23.16

Durbin, Leading Democratic Senators Call On Wells Fargo To End Use Of Forced Arbitration To Allow Customers To Seek Justice In Court

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and others to call on Wells Fargo to end the use of forced arbitration clauses that prevent customers whose names were used to open fraudulent accounts from seeking justice in court. Arbitration clauses force consumers to waive their rights to bring a claim in court or to band together in a class action, before any dispute has arisen. These clauses also deny access to the courts even when… Continue Reading


09.23.16

Durbin Announces $3.7 Million To Address Youth Violence In Illinois

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded Illinois counties and agencies grants totaling $3,738,028 to address the problem of youth violence in Illinois. These investments will support programs that provide critical intervention services to keep youth from entering the juvenile criminal justice system and prevent juvenile offenders from relapsing into criminal behavior. "Exposure to violence has a profound psychological impact … Continue Reading


09.22.16

Durbin, Wicker Introduce Legislation To Promote Study Abroad

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today introduced legislation that creates a competitive grant program for colleges and universities to expand study abroad opportunities for American college students and encourage more minority, low-income, and non-traditional students to spend part of their undergraduate experience abroad. The Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Program Act seeks to bolster young Americans' foreign language skills and cultural competency. Named … Continue Reading


09.22.16

Durbin Statement On Education Department Termination Of Deadbeat Accreditor

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Education announced its decision to terminate recognition of the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Universities (ACICS). Durbin had called for the Department to terminate ACICS, which accredited now-defunct Corinthian, ITT Tech, and Westwood Colleges. "ACICS repeatedly showed that it was not a reliable authority on educational quality or worthy of its responsibility as a gateke… Continue Reading


09.21.16

Durbin Joins Group Of 38 Democratic Senators In Call To Protect Women’s Access To Contraceptive Coverage

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined a group of 38 Democratic Senators calling on the Obama Administration to protect women's access to affordable birth control under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the senators argue that when Congress passed the ACA it clearly intended to provide contraceptive coverage to women and families, and that the current accommodation policy appropriately guarantees women access to that cov… Continue Reading


09.20.16

Durbin Calls On Senate To Pass Bill To Extend G.I. Housing Benefits For Veterans Affected By Itt Tech Closure

WASHINGTON - In light of the recent closure of ITT Educational Services, Inc. (ITT Tech), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor about the need to pass the Veterans Education Relief and Reinstatement Act (VERRA) to temporarily extend G.I. Bill housing benefits to veterans whose schools abruptly close. The bill could help ITT Tech veterans who lost this critical benefit and now may be in danger of losing their homes due to the closure of ITT Tech. "When it closed earli… Continue Reading


09.20.16

Durbin Statement On Devry Decision To Limit Revenue From Federal Student Aid

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement after DeVry University announced it would limit the share of revenue its six colleges derive from federal taxpayers, including tuition assistance provided through the Department of Defense and G.I. Bill benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. "It is breathtaking to say that any for-profit business will 'limit' its federal subsidy to 85% of its revenue, but in the bizarre world of for-profit schools, this is … Continue Reading


09.20.16

Durbin, Chicago Public Schools Announce More Than $1 Million For Mental Health Services

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice K. Jackson announced that the U.S. Department of Education has awarded the Chicago Board of Education $1,274,909 to support mental health services for students affected by violence and improve awareness of childhood trauma among educators and school support staff. Under this announcement, Chicago Public Schools will establish the Healing Trauma Together (HTT) program, allowing the district to b… Continue Reading


09.16.16

Durbin, Kirk Introduce Bill To Name Evanston Post Office After Abner Mikva

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) introduced legislation in the Senate to designate the U.S. Post Office facility located at 1101 Davis Street in Evanston, Illinois, as the Abner J. Mikva Post Office Building. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-9). Abner Mikva, who passed away on July 4th at the age of 90, was a five-term Democratic congressman from Illinois, chief judge of the United Stat… Continue Reading


09.16.16

Durbin, Senators Call On Education Department To Increase Debt Relief For Itt Tech Students

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 21 senators in sending a letter commending the U.S. Department of Education for its decision to stop additional federal student aid from flowing to ITT Educational Services, Inc. Following these restrictions, and serious concerns echoed by law enforcement agencies and ITT Tech's accreditor, with regard to the company's "deceptive practices, dubious educational quality, and financial integrity," ITT Tech announced… Continue Reading


09.16.16

Durbin Announces $25.3 Million For Rural Development Projects In Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $25,323,840 in federal funding, including $3,011,840 in grant awards, to support rural development projects across Illinois. Today's funding, provided through the USDA's Rural Business Development grant and loan programs, will support water and waste infrastructure projects and local economic development. "This federal investment will create local, good-paying jobs in c… Continue Reading


09.16.16

Durbin Announces $800,000 For Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield $800,000 to purchase a replacement aircraft rescue and fire fighting vehicle. Today's funding will help the airport meet federal safety regulations. "These critical funds will help improve safety for travelers flying in and out of Springfield's airport," said Durbin. "Investing in our small airports is key to our state's economic succe… Continue Reading


09.16.16

As Student Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion, Senators Pushes For Improved Protections For Student Borrowers

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Al Franken (D-MN) today announced the introduction of the Know Before You Owe Private Education Loan Act of 2016 to restore transparency, fairness, and common sense to the student loan process. According to the Federal Reserve, total student loan debt in America is now $1.36 trillion Institute for College Access and Success reports that the volume of private education loans taken out by students has grown by $2.6 billion from 20… Continue Reading


09.15.16

Durbin: Senate Passes Legislation Investing In Water Resource Projects Across Illinois

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 by a wide bipartisan margin of 95-3. This legislation provides critical funding for projects that will help Illinois and the nation mitigate flood hazards as well as prepare for and respond to weather emergencies. Additionally, the Water Resources Development Act makes substantial investments in the nation's water infrastructure system. "The passage o… Continue Reading


09.15.16

Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group Of Senators In Introducing Bill To Reauthorize Leasing Authority At Arsenals

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in introducing the bipartisan Arsenal Installation Reutilization Authority to reauthorize the leasing authority at Department of Defense arsenals for unused office space to outside tenants. This legislation would allow the Rock Island Arsenal to resume their leasing authority, which expired in 2012, and would authorize the Ars… Continue Reading


09.14.16

Durbin Meets With Air National Guard Director To Discuss Illinois Air Guard Units

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today met with Lieutenant General Scott Rice, Director of the Air National Guard, to discuss the future of Illinois Air Guard units, including the 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. During the meeting, Durbin and Rice discussed the success of the 183rd's Centralized Repair Facility, which repairs F-16 engines, and the importance of maximizing the unit's potential. "The 183rd Fighter W… Continue Reading


09.14.16

Durbin Meets With Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland, Calls On Senate GOP To Do Their Job

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois native and Supreme Court nominee Chief Judge Merrick Garland about the status of his nomination and the need to give him a hearing and a vote in the Senate. Following the meeting, Durbin spoke on the Senate floor about Republicans' unprecedented obstruction of Garland's nomination and blasted them for failing to fulfill their constitutional duty to provide advice and consent on the president's nominees. Garland was nominated 18… Continue Reading


09.13.16

Durbin, Bustos Announce $6 Million For Rockford Airport

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today announced $6,012,390 in federal funding for infrastructure improvements and upgrades at Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD). Today's investment, awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration, will fund Phase II of a terminal building expansion that will allow the airport to meet increasing passenger demands. "Northern Illinois' economic growth depen… Continue Reading

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