Press Releases

06.05.14

Durbin: Let Students Refinance Their Loans At Lower Interest Rates

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The dream of a fair shot at an affordable college education has become a long shot for too many, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today during a press conference with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Democratic Leadership. Durbin urged Congressional Republicans to back the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help 1.7 million Illinoisans, currently with outstanding student loan debt, refinance their loans at lower federal interest rates. The av… Continue Reading


06.05.14

Durbin: Senate Committee Approves Nearly $60 Million To Continue Activation of Thomson Prison

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, approved $43.7 million for equipment and staffing to continue the activation of Thomson Prison. The Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, which was passed on a bipartisan vote, also includes $15 million in funding for modernizations and repairs at the prison in Thomson, Illinois. Following the vote, Durbin commended the efforts of … Continue Reading


06.05.14

Durbin Statement On Daca Renewal For Dreamers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the process for young immigrants to renew their temporary legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is granted for two-year periods, and the first grants will begin expiring in September. "While America has been waiting for almost a year for the House of Representatives to take action on comprehens… Continue Reading


06.04.14

Durbin to CN: Keep Your Promises To Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to concerns raised by communities across Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Canadian National to address ongoing safety and traffic issues including: Canadian National's lack of cooperation with the State of Illinois and Amtrak, which has hindered efforts to expand rail service in Northern Illinois between Galena and Rockford; increased rail traffic that has resulted in a record rate of blocked rail crossings; and Canadian National's refusa… Continue Reading


06.04.14

Durbin: A Fair Shot At An Affordable Education Has Become A Long Shot For Too Many

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor to discuss America's exploding student loan debt crisis and efforts that are underway to help ease this burden for working families and students. Today, he will join Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Jack Reed (D-RI) to introduce a bill based on the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. That bill would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest r… Continue Reading


06.02.14

Durbin Statement on Proposed EPA Rule On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement of a proposed rule to establish standards for greenhouse gas emissions emitted by existing power plants. Under the proposed rule, each state's environmental agency - including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - will be called on to develop individual, state-specific implementation plans to ensure clean air targets are met. "… Continue Reading


05.30.14

Durbin Statement on Shinseki Resignation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after President Obama announced he had accepted the resignation of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Eric Shinseki. "The Inspector General's report is a call to action for Congress and the White House to fix our broken VA system. To the men and women who risked their lives for our nation, we made a solemn promise that requires Washington to put politics aside and put our veterans… Continue Reading


05.29.14

Durbin Announces $10.2 Million In Funding For Illinois Housing and Community Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that nine communities in Illinois will receive a total of $10,219,186 in grant funding through three programs administered by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help develop urban communities. "This federal investment will give local development agencies across Illinois the ability to offer affordable housing and homeless assistance to the people in their community who need it most," said Durbin. Com… Continue Reading


05.29.14

Durbin, Kirk: University of Illinois Awarded Federal Funding For Farm Bill Education

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made $3 million in federal funding available to two coalitions - including one led by the University of Illinois - to develop new online tools to inform members of the agriculture community about key programs included in the Farm Bill. As the lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education, the University of Illinois will use this funding to reach out t… Continue Reading


05.29.14

Durbin Announces $2.36 Million in Grant Funding to Clean and Redevelop Contaminated Illinois Sites

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded eight grants totaling $2,368,520 to Illinois communities to assess, clean, and redevelop "brownfield" contaminated waste sites. Today's funding is part of $67 million awarded nationwide by the EPA. The grants target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged areas. Since 1995, more than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been c… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Senators Urge Transportation Department to Improve Federal Oversight of Pipelines

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today urged the Department of Transportation to quickly implement the policy recommendations made in the agency's internal audit to improve federal oversight of the nation's pipeline system. Following a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended an audit of how the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) oversees state insp… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin: We Must Step Up Our Game To Protect Student Athletes From Concussion Risks

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In anticipation of the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit being held later this week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote President Obama today to seek support in promoting a strict "when in doubt, sit it out" concussion policy for young athletes as recommended by… On Thursday, President Obama will be joined by athletes, parents, coaches, members of the military, and medical professionals at the White House to discuss the risk concussions pos… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin, Bustos Announce $756,000 Investment For Mississippi River Ferry Boat Terminal in Moline

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) announced a $756,350 federal investment that will go to the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District for the construction of a new Channel Cat Passenger Ferryboat Terminal on the Mississippi River in Moline. The grant was awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Discretionary Passenger Ferry Grant Program. "This federal funding will create jobs and make improvements t… Continue Reading


05.28.14

Durbin Visits Kankakee Community College to Discuss Closing "Skills Gap"

[KANKAKEE, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Kankakee Community College today to discuss legislation he introduced to help community colleges train workers for high-needs technical jobs, many of which are currently going unfilled due to a lack of qualified employees in the workforce. Durbin toured labs and met with students in Kankakee's solar energy program. He also talked with representatives from a local electric company which has partnered with Kankakee in its job training effort… Continue Reading


05.27.14

Durbin, Kirk, Quinn Announce New Conservation Program To Include Mississippi River and Lake Michigan

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today in announcing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has designated both the Mississippi River Basin and the Great Lakes as "Critical Conservation Areas" under a new program - the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) - created by the Farm Bill that Congress passed earlier this year. In an April 2014 letter, Durbin and Kirk asked Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, … Continue Reading


05.27.14

Durbin Announces Committee Approval of Legislation to Improve Prosthetic Care for Veterans

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, last week approved legislation including language he authored to improve orthotics and prosthetics care for the nation's servicemembers and veterans. Durbin inserted a section into the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill, which the committee approved Thursday, which would enhance research in best practices and offer competitive grant funding t… Continue Reading


05.23.14

Durbin Announces Nearly $1.5 Million For Rural Development Projects in Central Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded loans totaling $1,147,000 and grants totaling $345,000 to communities across Central Illinois. The funds will be used to construct miles of water mains in Morgan County, Edgar County, and the village of Bryant, Illinois to serve customers who currently rely on private water wells for their water supply. The project will help alleviate the he… Continue Reading


05.22.14

Durbin, Kirk: Bipartisan Bill Investing In Illinois Infrastructure Priorities Heads to the President's Desk

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) said today said that the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 passed by the U.S. Senate earlier today invests in Illinois priorities and will make Illinois, the Midwest, and the country better prepared for extreme weather events like droughts and floods. The bill - which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this week - now heads to the President's desk to be signed into… Continue Reading


05.22.14

Durbin Meets With Secretary Shinseki, Calls For Public Report On Illinois VA Facilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Following a meeting today with Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to discuss recent reports that facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs - including Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital - used secret lists to conceal the amount of time veterans waited for healthcare, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called for a complete review of VA medical facilities, in Illinois and across the country. A photo of today's meeting is available here. "Today, I press… Continue Reading


05.20.14

Durbin Announces A More Than $1.5 MIllion Investment In Flood Protection Efforts in Kankakee, Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded a $1,537,500 grant for flood protection efforts in Kankakee, Illinois. "As extreme weather events like flooding continue to occur with greater frequency and severity, it is becoming increasingly important that we invest in mitigation and protection efforts," Durbin said. "This federal funding will support floo… Continue Reading

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