Press Releases

09.10.13

Durbin to Duncan: Time to Crack Down on For-Profit Medical Schools That Use Offshore Loophole

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) raised the alarm about foreign medical schools that are not accredited by approved U.S. accrediting bodies, but are still eligible for federal Title IV funds due to a 1992 loophole that allowed a small number of these schools to qualify for federal funding under lower standards than other foreign medical schools. An investigative report that appeared today in Bloomberg Markets Magazine highligh… Continue Reading


09.09.13

National Park Service Interested in Telling the Pullman Story

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly today announced the National Park Service has released a study which concludes that the Pullman community in Chicago's South Side has unique historical significance and is worthy of serious consideration as a new National Park. The Illinois members have been working to secure national park status for the architecturally unique neighborhood which played important roles in Americ… Continue Reading


09.06.13

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

[DECATUR, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited Richland Community College (RCC) 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 RCC's Illinois Network for Advanced Manufacturing Earn and Learn Manufacturing Program, in which students complete industry-recognized certificates in di… Continue Reading


09.05.13

Durbin, Bustos Urge House to Pass Water Resources Development Act

[CREVE COEUR, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) today urged their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the Water Resources Development Act and include legislation they authored when the House considers the measure in coming weeks. A key provision of the Senate bill is modeled on the Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act, which authorizes improvements to the nation's water infrastructure-including locks and d… Continue Reading


09.05.13

Durbin, Blumenthal, Harkin, Carper, Brown, and Markey Warn Against Dangers of E-Cigs After CDC Release Data Showing an Increase in Use Among Youth

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Ed Markey (D-MA) warned against the dangers of electronic cigarettes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released new data showing that use of these products has more than doubled among middle and high school students since the 2011-2012 school year. Electronic cigarettes or "e-cigs" are marketed as substitutes for tobacco smoking. However, in addition to r… Continue Reading


09.05.13

Durbin, Bustos Brief Community Members on Progess of Thomson Prison's Activation

[THOMSON, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17) met today with local community leaders to brief them on the progress and next steps in the activation of Thomson Prison, which the federal government purchased from the State of Illinois at Durbin's urging last year. The two were accompanied at today's meeting by Bill Dalius, the Assistant Director for Administration of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), who oversees facility and budget development … Continue Reading


09.03.13

Durbin Discusses Potential Military Action in Syria at Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke today at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to debate the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Syria. During today's hearing, Durbin questioned Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey regarding Syria's capacity for chemical warfare, and the regional response to the ongoing conflict. This morning, Senator Durbin, the Assistant Ma… Continue Reading


09.03.13

Durbin Statement on the Situation in Syria

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today regarding the situation in Syria: "The President gave a powerful and historic speech this afternoon, challenging Congress and the American people to begin a debate about how to respond to the atrocities in Syria. As we decide what, if anything, we will do as nation to respond, the President has called for a national conversation and for Congress to approve any use of force. That is the righ… Continue Reading


08.30.13

Durbin Marks 2-Year Anniversary of Veteran Caregiver Program by Meeting with Participating Families

[HINES, IL] - In recognition of the two-year anniversary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver Program, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited the Hines VA Hospital today to meet with veterans and their family caregivers and hear how their lives have changed as a result of the program. The Family Caregiver Program provides technical, financial and practical support to family caregivers of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seriously injured in the line of duty. It was create… Continue Reading


08.30.13

Springfield to Receive $14.4 Million in Federal TIGER Grant Funds for Carpenter Street Underpass

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers today announced that the City of Springfield, Illinois has been awarded $14.4 million for the construction of a railroad underpass at Carpenter Street - an important component of the Springfield Rail Improvement Project and the entire Chicago-to-St. Louis passenger rail corridor. In June, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) joined U.S. Representatives Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13) united in sup… Continue Reading


08.29.13

Durbin Awards Four Medals to Highland Park World War II Veteran

[HIGHLAND PARK] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today presented Dr. Irving Distelheim, a veteran and retired physician, with four medals he earned during his service in France during World War II. Staff in the Senator's Chicago office worked with Dr. Distelheim and the Army to obtain the medals earlier this year. "Dr. Irving Distelheim is a true American hero, and it gives me great honor to recognize him with these decorations," Durbin said. "Today I presented him with four medals recogn… Continue Reading


08.29.13

Durbin Introducing Bill to Strengthen Concussion Safety in High School Sports

[CHICAGO] - On the eve of the high school football season's kick-off, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced he will introduce legislation when the Senate reconvenes to strengthen K-12 schools' procedures for preventing, detecting, and treating student-athletes who suffer concussions while competing. "Injuries are a part of all sports, but as we learn more about the long-term effects of concussions and how frequently they are ignored, it is clear we need to do more to confront this … Continue Reading


08.29.13

Durbin, Schneider Discuss Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

[VERNON HILLS, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL-10) today visited College of Lake County to provide a cross section of community leaders with a briefing on their efforts to enact comprehensive immigration reform and hear from participants regarding their perspective on why reform is needed. A complete list of attendees is attached. "Months ago, I sat down with seven of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to tackle a difficult issue wh… Continue Reading


08.15.13

Durbin Announces a More Than $115,000 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 $115,552 in grants to two fire departments and municipalities in Illinois. Today's funding will help support and improve the capability of the departments to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. "When fires or other emergencies occur in our communities, our nation's firefighters and first-responders sta… Continue Reading


08.15.13

Durbin Announces More Than $58,000 Investment in Quincy Area 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 $58,165 in Economic Development District Planning funding to the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials in Quincy, Illinois to create jobs and boost economic development in the region. "Today's funding will help Western Illinois create and implement a plan for continued economic growth - one that leverages new investm… Continue Reading


08.13.13

Durbin Urges Law Enforcement to Take Advantage of Federal Gun Tracing Resources

[EAST ST. LOUIS] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on law enforcement agencies to take advantage of the federal gun tracing resources available to help them crack down on gun violence. Crime gun tracing, which allows law enforcement to track guns used in violent crimes from their manufacturer to their first retail purchaser, can help generate leads in criminal investigations and reveal how guns are trafficked into criminals' hands. Last month, Durbin introduced legislation incenti… Continue Reading


08.13.13

Durbin: FRA Taking Proactive Steps to Ensure Continued Safety of Metra Riders

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to a letter from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) committed to increase safety oversight of Metra operations by taking additional steps to ensure that safety rules and regulations are being followed and the lines of communication are open between employees and management on all safety issues. According to a letter sent to Durbin by FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo, the FRA will further exercise its oversight authority by i… Continue Reading


08.12.13

Durbin Statement on Drug Sentencing Reform Speech by AG Holder

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after Attorney General Eric Holder announced reforms related to federal sentencing policy. Under Holder's new policies, some non-violent and lower-level offenders would receive greater flexibility in sentencing. Durbin and Holder discussed the need for reform in federal sentencing last week. "Mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses have played a huge role in the explosion o… Continue Reading


08.12.13

Durbin Meets with DuPage County Leaders Regarding Immigration Reform

[WHEATON, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today visited Wheaton College to hold a roundtable discussion with a cross section of DuPage County leaders, briefing them on his effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform and hearing from them regarding their perspective on why reform is needed. A list of participants in the forum is attached. "Months ago, I sat down with seven of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to tackle a difficult issue which has defied Congress for decad… Continue Reading


08.08.13

Durbin, Oberhelman Discuss Need for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

[PEORIA, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman in Peoria today to discuss the need to reform the country's immigration system. Durbin is a member of the Senate Gang of Eight, which introduced a comprehensive immigration reform bill after months of negotiations earlier this year and worked successfully to pass the bill on a bipartisan basis in June. "Months ago, I sat down with seven of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to tackle … Continue Reading

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