Press Releases

08.01.13

Durbin: THUD Bill Is the Latest Casualty of the Failed GOP Budget

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke at a press conference today following a failed vote on the spending bill to fund the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the 2014 fiscal year. Despite being passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 22-8, the measure failed to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold by a vote of 54-43. "Standing behind us are some men and women in the buildi… Continue Reading


08.01.13

Durbin, Blumenthal: With Adverse Event Reporting on the Rise, Legislation Needed to Protect Consumers of Dietary Supplements

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today introduced legislation that would help consumers distinguish between dietary supplements that are safe and those that have potentially serious side-effects or drug interactions. Recent investigative reports by "USA Today" and "Rock Center" have exposed the lack of information about dietary supplement products while they are on store shelves. With no authority to require information about a dietary supp… Continue Reading


08.01.13

Durbin and Lee Introduce Smarter Sentencing Act

Washington, D.C. - With federal prison populations skyrocketing and nearly half of the nation's federal inmates serving sentences for drug offenses, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) have introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act, to modernize our drug sentencing polices by giving federal judges more discretion in sentencing those convicted of non-violent offenses. Making these incremental and targeted changes could save taxpayers billions in the first years of en… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin Statement on House Passage of Bill to Lower Rates for All Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the House passed a bipartisan bill to lower interest rates for 100% of borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new federal student loan after July 1, 2013. "This agreement will ensure students loan rates will fall below the 6.8 percent rate that kicked in on July 1," said Senator Durbin. "Once again we've shown that when both sides work together, we can reach fair an… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin Announces A More Than $87,000 Investment in Illinois First-Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $87,168 in grants to fire departments throughout Illinois. Today's funding will help raise public awareness about fire safety and prevention, and support and improve the capability of the departments to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to prot… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin Statement on the Confirmation of B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate confirmed B. Todd Jones to be the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Although the ATF director position began requiring Senate confirmation in 2006, both President Bush and President Obama's nominees to the position were blocked, and the agency had not yet had a Senate-confirmed director. "Over the last 7 years, the gun lobby has done eve… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin: Energy Drink Companies Should Not Market Their Products to Children Under 18

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivered opening remarks at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee examining the potential health risks of energy drinks and the marketing of these products to youth. Senator Durbin's remarks as prepared are below. A live webcast of today's hearing is available on the Commerce Committee website: http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/ Durbin coauthored a report entitled "What's all the Buzz about?" that shows inconsistencies in the labe… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin Announces a $51,000 Rural Development Grant for Clifton, IL

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a $51,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant to the Village of Clifton, Illinois. Today's funding will be used to install a sewer line extension that will help benefit local small businesses. "Today's funding will help create local jobs during the construction of a new sewer line extension which, once completed, will help support Clifton's small business community," Durbin sa… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin: Swipe Fee Ruling a Victory for Consumers, Small Businesses

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. threw out the Federal Reserve's regulations governing swipe fees, saying the Fed disregarded congressional intent and "inappropriately" inflated debit card transaction fees by billions of dollars. "Today's decision by the Federal District Court is a victory for consumers and small business around the country and will lead to lower interch… Continue Reading


07.31.13

Durbin to Raise Concerns Over Energy Drinks at Commerce Committee Hearing

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) will deliver an opening statement today at a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee examining the potential health risks of energy drinks and the marketing of these products to youth. The hearing will also present an opportunity for members to review an investigative report, released by Durbin and U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Ed Markey (D-MA) that revealed evidence of energy drink marketing practices that t… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Durbin Announces More Than $55,000 Investment in Illinois Communities to Create Jobs and Boost Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce's (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $55,465 in Economic Development District Planning funding to the Blackhawk Hills Resource Conservation and Development Commission in Rock Falls, Illinois to create jobs and boost economic development in the region. "Today's funding will help Northwest Illinois create and implement a plan for continued economic growth - one tha… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Durbin, Duckworth: Change Needed to Help Servicemembers with Student Loan Assistance Programs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With average student loan debt for active-duty servicemembers at more than $25,000, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today introduced a bill that would fix a provision in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) - created in 1940 - that unintentionally discourages servicemembers from consolidating or refinancing pre-service student loans. For servicemembers with Perkins or Federal Family Education Loans, consolidation of pre-s… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Durbin Announces More Than $1.6 Million at Chicagoland Airports

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $1,643,138 in funding to the state of Illinois for infrastructure improvements and upgrades at two airports in the Chicagoland region. "Today's funding will help these airports continue serving their users safely and efficiently by making needed improvements and upgrades," Durbin said. The following investments in Illinois' transportation infrastructure were made und… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Durbin Raises Concerns Regarding Safety of Dietary Supplements on Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding questions raised by an article published in USA Today that featured a dietary supplement that contained the chemical DNP - a hazardous pesticide that was used as a weight-loss drug before it was declared toxic for humans. Durbin spoke about the need to ensure that consumers are able to make informed decisions, and that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the information it needs to respond quick… Continue Reading


07.30.13

Senators Introduce Bill to Study Effects of Petroleum Coke

WASHINGTON - Four U.S. senators introduced legislation today to require a study of the health, environmental and safety effects of petroleum coke, a byproduct of petroleum refining that is used in energy production. The Petroleum Coke Transparency and Public Health Study Act, introduced by Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is a companion to legislation introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich. … Continue Reading


07.29.13

Durbin: House Spending Bill Would Cripple Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today sounded the alarm about the U.S. House of Representatives' plans to cut funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) by 80 percent. Those cuts would severely impact federal programs created to address major ecological problems facing the Great Lakes, including fighting the spread of Asian carp. "The Great Lakes are one of our country's greatest treasures, but they face challenges ranging from industrial pollution to invasive spe… Continue Reading


07.26.13

Durbin, Welch Write to Bernanke on Interchange Fees

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke today, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) urged the panel to review the new interchange fee regulations the European Commission announced this week and to include the Commission's analysis and recommendations into the Board's assessments of debit interchange fees charged in the United States. "This week, the European Commission proposed to carefully regulate the debit an… Continue Reading


07.26.13

Durbin, Harkin, Dreamers, and Immigration Reform Supporters to Hold Immigration Forum in Ames, Iowa Next Friday

Washington, D.C. - US Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced today that they would be holding an immigration forum in Ames, Iowa next Friday, August 2, 2013. The event will feature DREAMers from across Iowa, farmers, students and small businesses that support the Senate's approach to immigration reform. Full details of the forum will be released next week. Senator Durbin is the author of the DREAM Act and one of the members of the so-called "Gang of Eight" which wrote th… Continue Reading


07.26.13

Durbin Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Student Loan Interest Rates Bill

[URBANA] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded the Senate's passage of a bipartisan bill to lower the interest rates of federal student loans this year for all borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new loan after July 1, 2013. The legislation passed on an 81-18 vote on Wednesday. "This week, an overwhelming majority of Senators from both parties came together to lower interest rates on all student loans," Durbin said. "The 380,000 Illinois undergrads getting ready t… Continue Reading


07.25.13

Durbin Announces $1.7 Million for Rural Development Project in Sangamon County

[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 a loan of $1,700,000 to the Round Prairie Water Coop in Sangamon County, Illinois under the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Program. The project will construct extensions to the new water distribution system in Capital and Cotton Hill Townships that, when complete, will serve approximately 388 rural residents. The extensions will handle ex… Continue Reading

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