Press Releases


Durbin Statement on Confirmation of Gayle Smith to Head USAID

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate voted 79-7 to confirm Gayle Smith, who was nominated to head the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on April 30th: USAID is charged with coordinating America's response to humanitarian crises around the world, and the catastrophic civil war in Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time. While this tragedy unfolded throughout the year, giving rise to a massive refug… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement Following Release of Laquan McDonald Shooting Video

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Chicago Police Department released footage from a dashcam video showing the shooting of 17 year-old Laquan McDonald. Officer Jason Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder for the shooting. "The violence in this video is shocking and upsetting. Our law enforcement officers protect and serve their communities with honor and courage, but those who fail to follow the high standards they ha… Continue Reading


Durbin, Senators Call for Vote on Legislation to Close Egregious Loophole that Allows Suspected Terrorist to Purchase Guns & Explosives

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined with Senate Democrats to urge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Paul Ryan to quickly schedule votes on legislation that would close an egregious loophole and prevent individuals on the Federal Terrorist Watchlist from being able to purchase firearms and explosives that may be used in connection with terrorism. Under current law, a member of a terrorist organization is not prohibited from "possessing firearms or ex… Continue Reading


Durbin, Murphy, Blumenthal, and 21 Other Senators Urge White House to Take Executive Action to Reduce Gun Violence

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and a group of 21 other senators in calling on President Barack Obama to investigate and pursue all possible options under his executive authority to reduce gun violence. In a letter to the President, the senators urged him to eliminate a loophole that currently allows individuals without a federal license to conduct high volumes of gun sales at gun shows, over the internet… Continue Reading


Durbin Files Public Comment in Support of Scott Bid to House New NGA Facility

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In comments filed today with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) once again expressed his strong support for Scott Air Force Base's bid to house the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), known as NGA West, as part of the Army Corps' public comment period. The agency is expected to make a final decision by spring 2016 after examining the finalist sites' costs, relative merits and environmental qualities. "I write to express my str… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Pfizer-Allergan Inversion

CHICAGO-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the merger between Pfizer and Ireland-based Allergan, which would create a roughly $160 billion inversion in order to avoid paying U.S. taxes: When corporations choose to invert and don't pay their fair share of taxes, they leave the rest of us to pick up the tab. That isn't right, and I hope Pfizer will reconsider. The Obama Administration has taken action to help curb this practice, but there are still lo… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on Gov. Rauner to Meet With Syrian Refugee Families in Illinois Before Thanksgiving

CHICAGO-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today sent a letter to Governor Bruce Rauner calling on him to drop his opposition to resettling Syrian refugees in the state of Illinois. After the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris last week, Republican governors and members of Congress rushed to block children, women, and families who are themselves fleeing ISIS terrorism. On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry sent a letter to Gov. Rauner detailing the… Continue Reading


Durbin Hosts Illinois Members at Bipartisan Delegation Luncheon

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today hosted members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation at the sixth bipartisan Illinois Congressional Delegation Luncheon of the 114th Congress. Started by the late U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon, the Illinois Delegation Luncheon has been held regularly in Washington, DC at no expense to the federal taxpayer for more than 25 years. A photo of today's luncheon is available here. The luncheon today was attended by seven members of… Continue Reading


Durbin: History Will Judge How Congress Responds to Paris Terror Attacks

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) took to the Senate floor today to speak out against a slew of Republican proposals to respond to the Paris terror attacks by closing the door on Syrian refugees fleeing similar terrorism and violence in their own country: "We will reflect in years to come about what happened in this world in the last week. We will reflect on the terrible tragedy that occurred in Paris, France, in Beirut, and other nations that was led by ISIS terrorists. We will r… Continue Reading


Durbin Bill Would Close Gun Loophole in Visa Waiver Program

WASHINGTON-Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation to close a loophole in federal law that permits foreign nationals who have entered the United States through the Visa Waiver Program to buy and wield firearms. Current law prohibits visa holders from other countries from purchasing guns, but excludes travelers from the 38 Visa Waiver Program countries. "The horrific terror attacks in Paris last week have given new urgency to protecting our own com… Continue Reading


Durbin: GAO Report Shows Need for DOD to Make Maximum Use of Army's Strategic Plan on Arsenals

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after reviewing the recommendations contained in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report he requested - along with U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IL) and former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IL) - as part of the Fiscal Year 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Next month, Durbin will be meeting with President Obama's nominee to be Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning, to di… Continue Reading


Durbin, Murray Join 18 Senators to Request Report on Effectiveness of Public Health Programs Designed to Impact Gun Safety

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, and 18 Senate Democratic colleagues in writing a letter to Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States, requesting a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to assess the efficacy of public health and safety programs that are designed to impact gun safety, including the storage and security of… Continue Reading


Durbin, Blumenthal Statement on DOJ, Federal Agencies Bringing Criminal and Civil Charges Against More than 100 Dietary Supplement Makers and Marketers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) issued the following statement after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that, along with numerous federal agencies, it is pursuing criminal and civil charges against over 100 makers and marketers of dietary supplements for fraudulent claims: "The breadth and scope of today's sweeping enforcement actions against a broad range of dietary supplement manufacturers illustrates how frequently consumers are… Continue Reading


Durbin Expresses Solidarity with People of France, Says Those who Would Turn Away Refugees Have Forgotten the Lesson of History

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor to offer condolences for the lives lost in Friday's horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, and to express solidarity with the people of France. Durbin also responded to statements by several Republican state governors who claim that their states would suspend accepting new Syrian refugees: "I want to add my voice to others here today in sharing my deepest condolences and solidarity with the people of that great nation… Continue Reading


Durbin: Education Department to Provide Additional Relief to Corinthian Students

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today commended the announcement of additional expedited federal student loan relief to students of the now bankrupt Corinthian Colleges, Inc. following a joint investigation between the Department of Education and California Attorney General Kamala Harris. The investigation found that Corinthian Colleges, Inc.'s Everest and Wyotech locations in California and online Everest University programs misrepresented their placement rates to prospect… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on DOJ, ED, State Attorneys General Settlement with EDMC

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Department of Justice, Department of Education, and state Attorneys General announced an agreement to settle litigation with Education Management Corporation (EDMC) over the company's illegal use of incentive compensation for recruiters and deceptive and misleading recruitment practices. Under today's agreement, EDMC will pay $95.5 million to the federal government and states, including $1.9 mil… Continue Reading


Durbin Engages Community Banks, Credit Unions in Effort to Protect Consumers from Predatory Payday Lending

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to growing demand for small dollar loans, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote to the Community Bankers Association of Illinois, the Illinois Credit Union League, and the Illinois League of Financial Institutions to engage community banks and credit unions in developing alternative credit options for the twelve million Americans who fall victim to predatory payday loans every year. "I would appreciate any suggestions you may have as to how we can work toge… Continue Reading


Durbin Vows to Protect Job-Creating Illinois Infrastructure Projects on Transportation Conference Committee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the House-Senate Conference Committee for the next transportation bill, vowed to fight for robust funding for transportation programs that create jobs and support Illinois' priority infrastructure projects. Durbin - who took a leadership role in passing the bipartisan Senate version of the transportation bill - is committed to producing a long-term reauthorization of transportation programs that will provide the certainty t… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Citizenship and DACA Loan Programs at Second Federal Credit Union

[CHICAGO] - With an estimated 370,000 lawful permanent residents in Illinois eligible to naturalize but who have yet to do so, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Second Federal Credit Union's Brighton Park location to discuss the citizenship loans the institution has started to offer. The citizenship fee, now $680, has nearly tripled since 1999 and has become one of the main deterrents to lawful permanent residents (LPRs) taking the final step to become U.S. citizens. "Too many immig… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Approves Bill to Fund Department of Veterans Affairs & Military Construction

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that, earlier this week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to fund the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and support military construction projects in Illinois and around the country. Differences between the Senate-passed version and the House-passed version must now be reconciled before the legislation is sent to President Obama for his signature. "The Senate came together this week to pass legislation that will deliver on the … Continue Reading

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