Press Releases


Durbin Praises the Creation of Student Aid Enforcement Unit

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised the creation of the Student Aid Enforcement Unit to respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by institutions of higher education. "This is long overdue. Students and taxpayers need aggressive enforcement of the law to spare students from fraud and taxpayers from further losses like those caused by the Corinthian Colleges collapse," said Durbin. "By combining the forces of our federal and stat… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks Secretary of Homeland Security for "Maximum Flexibilityā€¯ Implementing REAL ID in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today to ask for "maximum flexibility" implementing the REAL ID Act in Illinois. Today, Durbin asked Secretary Johnson to "work closely with state officials to provide clear guidance and flexibility to Illinois residents about the new requirements to access secure federal facilities and provide assistance should Illinois choose to resubmit an application for an extension." In December, the… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges President Obama to Take Robust & Aggressive Actions to Address Spread of the Zika Virus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined the full Senate Democratic Caucus in sending a letter to President Obama urging a coordinated interagency response plan to address the spread of the Zika virus both at home and abroad. In Atlanta, Durbin met with CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden and discussed the recent rise in cases related to the Zika virus, which has spread… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Air Force Secretary to Discuss Illinois Defense Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with today with Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. Earlier this week, Durbin also met with General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Today, Secretary James and Durbin - who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees discretionary spending for our nation's military, including bases - discussed the long-term future of Illinois' Air Force installations, including Scott Air Fo… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Calling for Action Against Recent Surge in Cheap Steel Imports from Turkey

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of 23 other Senators calling for the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, to review whether Turkish companies producing steel reinforcing bar, "rebar", are violating U.S. antidumping laws. Turkey's rebar imports now constitute approximately 80% of U.S. rebar imports and around 20% of U.S. domestic rebar consumption - and are projected to increase. "As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilitie… Continue Reading


Durbin: Flint Water Crisis is a Disaster, Congress Must Step Forward and Act

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor about the urgent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. "This is a disaster. As we speak, almost 100,000 people are being forced to live without access to clean water in their homes," said Durbin. "Every time I hear about this story, the same question comes to my mind: who's going to jail for poisoning 9,000 children? A knowing decision by a city manager to switch to a water supply which was contaminated and endangered th… Continue Reading


Durbin Says 'FACT Act' Harms Victims of Asbestos-Related Disease

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that legislation - the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act - passed by the House of Representatives would penalize Americans who are sick and dying from asbestos exposure, many of whom are veterans, and would be an unwarranted giveaway to big companies that made products with asbestos. Senator Durbin's opening statement can be viewed on his YouTube page. "An estima… Continue Reading


Durbin Backs Measure to Increase Transparency for Oil-By-Rail Transportation

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to introduce an amendment to a broad energy bill to provide more transparent information about shipments of flammable liquids transported by railroads, including crude oil, ethanol and liquefied natural gas (LNG). The amendment would require the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to collect and publish monthly data about flammable liquids transported by rai… Continue Reading


Durbin - Alexander Amendment to Bipartisan Energy Bill Promotes Increased Funding for Scientific Research

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today announced that their amendment to the Energy Policy Modernization Act was approved by the Senate. The amendment would approve over $31 billion of funding - $2.7 billion more than what was included in the original legislation - for the Department of Energy's Office of Science by increasing its budget at a rate of 5% annual real growth (above inflation) each year for five years. Today's amendment i… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Air Force Chief of Staff to Discuss Defense Priorities & Illinois Installations

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. During the meeting, General Welsh and Durbin - who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees discretionary spending for our nation's military, including bases - discussed the long-term future of Illinois' Air Force installations. "I am proud to represent some of our nation's premier Air Force defense installations and the talented… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for Extended Student Loan Relief for Illinois Students Deceived by the Computer Science Institute

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Department of Education to provide federal student loan relief to students of Skokie, Illinois based Computer Systems Institute (CSI) which had its participation in the Title IV federal loan program terminated after the Department found the for-profit college was submitting false job placement data. CSI, which received $20 million in 2014-2015 through the Title IV program, has 2,600 active students at locations in Chicago,… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Congenital Heart Disease Research with Illinois Leaders & Activists

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois constituents who have congenital heart defects, their families and their physicians who are in Washington, DC advocating for increased research funding on behalf of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, the Adult Congenital Heart Association, and the Children's Heart Foundation. Durbin recently introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize his Congenital Heart Futures Act, which expired earlier this year. Pho… Continue Reading


Durbin: No Town Too Small, No Suburb Too Wealthy to Avoid Heroin Epidemic

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Attacking America's Epidemic of Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) shared his experiences meeting with local advocates, law enforcement officials, health professionals, and people affected by heroin and opioid addiction throughout Illinois. He told his colleagues, "I've done roundtables around Illinois. There's no town too small, no suburb too wealthy not to have heroin overdose deaths in the state… Continue Reading


Durbin: "FTC Charges of Deception Against DeVry University are the Latest Chapter in the Shameful Story of So Many For-Profit Colleges"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against DeVry University, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said "it's time to clean up the for-profit college industry and stand up for students and taxpaying families." DeVry University is a for-profit college whose students cumulatively hold $8.3 billion in student debt - the fourth highest debt volume of any higher education institution in America - and have a 2009 five-year cohort default rate of 43%… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on HUD to Strengthen Regulations Addressing Childhood Lead Exposure

[CHICAGO, IL] - Following a Chicago Tribune report that highlighted numerous incidents of childhood lead poisoning in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro to urge the Department to conduct a thorough review of its regulations of acceptable lead exposure levels for children living in federally subsidized housing. "In Flint, Michigan, where there is currently a lead-tainted water crisis, lead exposure is exace… Continue Reading


Durbin Commends President Obama's Leadership in Addressing Solitary Confinement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised President Obama's decision to ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles - a move he called for at Senate hearing he chaired in 2014. Durbin is the lead Democratic cosponsor of bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation - the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 - which includes a similar ban. The legislation also grants judges greater sentencing flexibility for certain low-level offenders and establishes rec… Continue Reading


Durbin Encourages Commuters to Take Advantage of Larger Mass Transit Tax Benefit

CHICAGO - As tax season begins, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today encouraged employers and mass transit commuters to take full advantage of a tax benefit that was strengthened and permanently extended by Congress late last year. The tax-free benefit could yield $1,000 annually in federal and state tax savings for qualified mass transit commuters. As part of the omnibus spending and tax bill, Congress passed a permanent increase of the commuter tax benefit for mass-transit riders, restori… Continue Reading


Durbin, Leahy, Senators Call on Administration to Halt Deportation Raids & Consider Temporary Protected Status for Vulnerable Families

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and twenty of their Senate colleagues to send a letter to President Obama calling for an immediate halt to the Department of Homeland Security's recent targeted arrests and deportations of mothers and children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The senators also urged the Administration to consider designating Guatemala and redesignating El Salvador and Honduras for temporary protected status. … Continue Reading


Durbin, Foster Meet with Aurora Leaders to Discuss Rail Tank Car Safety

AURORA - In response to safety concerns raised by the rapid increase of trains carrying volatile crude oil and ethanol across the country, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL-11) today met with Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and local stakeholders to discuss actions to strengthen tank cars and prevent derailments. Durbin and Foster highlighted recently-enacted legislation that includes several improvements to rail safety. "Just five years ago, very little crude oil … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Implementation of New Visa Waiver Program Restrictions

WASHINGTON-Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding today's implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was included in the end of year Omnibus spending bill. Under the new law, travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries who are nationals of or have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 are no longer permitted to travel to the United States under the … Continue Reading

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