Press Releases

08.02.19

Durbin, Duckworth Statement On GAO Report On VA Oversight Of State Veterans Homes

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement today after a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) detailed recommendations for improved oversight by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) of State Veterans Homes (SVH) across the country. In 2017, Durbin and Duckworth asked GAO to review VA oversight of SVH's after a deadly Legionnaires' outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy. "While SVHs are owned… Continue Reading


08.02.19

Durbin, Duckworth Urge VA Secretary To End Anti-Worker, Anti-Union Negotiation Tactics

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and a group of Democratic colleagues, sent a letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie urging him to abandon the Department's current destructive approach to ongoing negotiations with the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). Despite VA and AFGE's history of engaging in good-faith negotiations that equally benefit employees, Veterans and the… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation To Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing And Firearms Trafficking

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Susan Collins (R-ME), introduced bipartisan legislation to close loopholes that criminals exploit to obtain firearms through straw purchasing and firearms trafficking. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2019 would, for the first time, make it an explicit federal crime to act as a straw purchaser of firearms. The bill would also create tough penalties for anyone who transfers a firearm with re… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Strengthen Rural Health Workforce

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, along with Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Doug Jones (D-AL), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced bipartisan legislation to address critical rural health workforce shortages. The Rural America Health Corps Act would create a new program that improves the existing National Health Service Corps (NHSC) program by providing new dedicated student loan forgiveness funding for health car… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin Pays Tribute To Illinois Service Member Killed In Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today paid tribute to Specialist Michael Isaiah Nance, of Chicago, Illinois, who was killed on July 29 in Afghanistan. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin expressed his condolences to Nance's family and friends. "The motto of the 82nd Airborne is, 'Airborne all the way!' Isaiah lived every bit of this motto in his faithful service to America, and with his family and friends," Durbin said. "Mr. President, every member of the Senate would be pro… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin Statement On Rigged Markup Of Cruel Trump-Graham Proposal Targeting Vulnerable Children

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today released the following statement after voting against the Trump-Graham asylum proposal in the Senate Judiciary Committee: "The Trump-Graham proposal includes no assurances that children will be humanely treated or that they will be safe from violence once they are deported. And this bill does nothing to address root causes that are causing migrants to flee the North… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today released the following statement after voting for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019: "This important agreement will avoid harmful cuts to domestic priorities and prevent a default on our nation's debt. Most importantly, this agreement will help prevent another disastrous government shutdown. While not perfect, this budget agreement will finally allow Congress to work on this yea… Continue Reading


08.01.19

Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Bill To Reform American Infrastructure Investment

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Representative Karen Bass (D-CA-37), announced new landmark legislation to make bold reforms to federal infrastructure programs that would help create jobs, rebuild the country, and work to right the wrongs of decades of disinvestment and exclusionary federal policies that have cut off communities of color. The Build Local, Hire Local Act would ensure that federal infr… Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Resolution To Protect People With Pre-existing Conditions

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined Senate and House Democrats to unveil a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would roll back the 1332 waiver rule, another Trump Administration effort to sabotage Americans' health care and another attack on the 130 million Americans-including approximately five million Illinoisans-who rely on the critical pre-existing condition protections the Administration is trying to eliminate. The Trump rule, if … Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin, Menendez Meet With Venezuela Special Envoy Elliot Abrams

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today met with Venezuela Special Envoy Elliot Abrams to discuss the ongoing violence, deteriorating security situation, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela caused by the discredited regime of Nicolás Maduro. They also discussed legislation to designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and protect approximately 200,000 Venezuelan nationals in the United States from deportation. "In today's meeting, I rei… Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin, Leahy, Booker Introduce Legislation To Ban The Death Penalty

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced legislation to immediately ban the use of the death penalty by the federal government. The legislation comes after Attorney General (AG) William Barr's announcement that federal executions will resume for the first time in more than 16 years. While there have been only three federal executions in the last five decades, AG Barr has ordered th… Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin Calls On McConnell To End Legislative Graveyard & Protect Our Elections From Foreign Interference

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary and Rules Committee, today called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to end his legislative graveyard and bring comprehensive election security bills to the floor. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin noted that one of the most important takeaways from Special Counsel Mueller's report is that Russia was able to successfully attack our democracy in 2016. Page one of the Mueller report … Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin Introduces Bill to Increase Federal Research Into Marijuana

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation that would lift federal barriers and increase research into cannabis. The Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act would remove restrictions on federal research into cannabis and expand studies on the potential benefits and harms from cannabis use. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in 2017 examined the current state of cannabis research and found conclusive evidence that marijuana is ef… Continue Reading


07.31.19

Senate Confirms Nominations of Martha Pacold & Mary Rowland To Serve As U.S. District Judges For The Northern District Of Illinois

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate confirmed the nominations of Martha M. Pacold and Mary M. Rowland to serve as District Judges on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, based in Chicago: "We are pleased that the Senate has confirmed Martha Pacold and Mary Rowland. They have the qualifications, integrity, and judgment to serve with distinction as district court judges in the Northern … Continue Reading


07.31.19

Durbin, Duckworth Join Senate Democratic Caucus To Introduce Constitutional Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined the entire Senate Democratic Caucus to introduce the Democracy for All Amendment, a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and other disastrous court decisions, help get big money out of politics, and put power back in the hands of the American people. "I was proud to preside over a hearing and lead the markup of this amendment as the chair of the Senate Judiciary S… Continue Reading


07.30.19

Senate Republicans Block Bipartisan, House-Passed Venezuela TPS Legislation

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans today blocked bipartisan, House-passed legislation that would designate Venezuela for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and protect approximately 200,000 Venezuelan nationals in the United States from deportation. U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) was joined by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on the Senate floor to make a unanimous consent (UC) request to immediately pass the Venezuela TPS Ac… Continue Reading


07.30.19

Durbin Introduces Bill To Make Cahokia Mounds A National Historic Park

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced a bill that would designate the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site as a National Historic Park. Cahokia Mounds is currently a National Historic Landmark, but Durbin's bill would provide a new designation that ensures protection for the ancient mounds in St. Clair and Madison counties along with Sugarloaf Mound in St. Louis-the city's only remaining mound. "The Cahokia Mounds represent the indigenous peoples and landscapes that once… Continue Reading


07.29.19

Illinois Congressional Delegation Urges FEMA to Support State's Request For Preliminary Flood Damage Assessment

WASHINGTON - The entire Illinois Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Acting Administrator Peter Gaynor supporting Illinois Governor JB Pritzker's request for an extension in conducting its Preliminary Damage Assessment from flooding events between February and July. A flood of this duration had not been seen in Illinois since the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, and at least 35 percent of the State's counties were affected and declared a disaster… Continue Reading


07.29.19

Durbin, Duckworth, Bustos Push Devos, Illinois Community Colleges To Help Midstate College Students

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), today urged the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to take immediate steps to assist the estimated 183 students affected by the planned August 14, 2019, closing of for-profit Midstate College in Peoria, Illinois. The members, in a letter to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, pressed ED to provide students information about eligibility and applying for closed school discharges, … Continue Reading


07.29.19

Durbin Statement on Trump Administration's Continued Effort To Sell Arms To Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after voting to override President Donald Trump's vetoes of the joint resolutions of disapproval regarding arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The original resolutions of disapproval passed the Senate with 51 and 53 votes, but today's veto override fell short of the two-thirds needed. "The Saudi government and royal family continue to deny any involvement in Mr. Khashoggi's brutal disappearance and murd… Continue Reading

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