Press Releases

03.21.12

Durbin, Kirk, Shimkus, Costello React to Denial of Disaster Declaration for Southern Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jerry Costello (D-IL) today expressed disappointment after receiving word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied the State of Illinois' appeal for a Presidential disaster declaration for five counties - Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union, and Williamson - in Southern Illinois that were devastated by severe storms and tornadoes three weeks ago. "A few days… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Durbin Calls on Senate to Pass Irish E3 Visa Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following Taoiseach Enda Kenny's visit to Washington yesterday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today called on the Senate to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which includes a Durbin co-sponsored amendment establishing a two-year visa program for Irish citizens. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act has already passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support. "In December, Senators Schumer, Leahy and I introduced an amendment that rec… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Durbin Chairs Budget Hearing on CFTC

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today chaired a hearing which reviewed the funding request of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the nation's primary financial market regulators. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler testified before Durbin's Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. "With our markets on the rebound, record high gas prices and vast new regulatory responsibilities, CFTC's roles in protecting consume… Continue Reading


03.21.12

Honor the Special Relationship between America and Ireland by Passing the Irish E3 Visa Bill

Mr. President, yesterday afternoon I had the honor of attending the annual Speaker's Luncheon celebrating the long and enduring partnership between the Irish and American people. Among the guests of honor were the President and Vice President and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. And this past Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, I joined Prime Minister Kenny, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to march in Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade. As one of the 40 million Amer… Continue Reading


03.20.12

The Looming Student Debt Crisis: Providing Fairness For Struggling Students

Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts Our nation faces a serious problem with student loan debt. Last month, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued an eye-opening report titled "The Student Loan 'Debt Bomb." The report pointed out that American student borrowing exceeded $100 billion in 2010, and total outstanding student loans exceeded $1 trillion last year. There is now more student loan debt in this count… Continue Reading


03.20.12

Durbin: Congress Ignores Exploding Student Debt Crisis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - At a hearing to examine the growing student loan debt crisis in America, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged Congress to take steps to help struggling students beginning with the passage of his Fairness for Struggling Students Act - a bill that will restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. Durbin also addressed the role of for-profit colleges in exacerbating the growing debt… Continue Reading


03.16.12

Durbin, Kirk, Delegation Call on President to Grant Appeal of Denial of Federal Relief for Southern Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation today sending a letter to President Obama in support of the State of Illinois' appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) denial of federal assistance to the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes earlier this month. FEMA issued the denial last Sunday. "We write to support Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's appeal of … Continue Reading


03.15.12

Senators Applaud First of Its Kind Smoking Prevention Campaign

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today applauded a hard-hitting anti-tobacco media campaign focusing on the immediate and devastating health effects of smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign - which is primarily funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act - is its first federally-funded and nationally coordinated smoking preventio… Continue Reading


03.15.12

Durbin Announces A Nearly $600,000 Investment in Illinois First-Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has made a $597,490 investment in five fire departments in Illinois. Today's funding will help support and improve the capability of each department to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and wom… Continue Reading


03.14.12

Durbin: Bipartisan Senate Transportation Bill Best Route for Illinois Jobs, National Economy

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate passed legislation by a vote of 74-22 that will create and protect millions of jobs nationwide while preventing crippling cuts to Illinois' highways and public transit agencies. Durbin urged the House of Representatives to take up and pass the legislation as soon as possible. "This transportation bill is the real jobs bill and it passed today with overwhelming bipartisan support," said Durbin. "This bill … Continue Reading


03.14.12

IL Delegation Presses FEMA Administrator on Importance of Federal Disaster Aid in Southern Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After a meeting to discuss the recent denial of federal assistance to five counties in Southern Illinois, members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation today said that they pressed the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator, Craig Fugate, on the importance of federal disaster aid to the residents and businesses impacted by severe storms and tornadoes earlier this month. Delegation members also pressed FEMA for a quick decision on the State of Illinois' … Continue Reading


03.14.12

Durbin: Health Care Reform Helped Illinois Seniors Save $96 Million in Out-of-Pocket Costs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As additional consumer-oriented provisions of the landmark health care reform law continue to be implemented, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today drew attention to a new interactive map showing the money that Illinois Medicare beneficiaries in each county saved last year as provisions to close the so-called "donut hole" coverage gap came into effect. The Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit coverage gap forced beneficiaries to pay 100% of their prescription drug costs… Continue Reading


03.12.12

Durbin Legislation Will Support Task Force Efforts and Help Bring Fugitives to Justice

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation to devote additional federal resources to investigating, apprehending, extraditing and prosecuting fugitives suspected of committing serious crimes. Durbin's Bringing Fugitives to Justice Act would enhance resources for fugitive apprehension efforts by directing appearance and bail bonds that are forfeited in federal criminal cases to a Fugitive Extradition and Apprehension Trust Fund. The bill is the most recent a… Continue Reading


03.12.12

Durbin, Kirk: FEMA Denial of Federal Aid for Southern Illinois is Unacceptable

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s denial of federal funding for the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes was unacceptable. They called for a meeting between members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation and the FEMA Administrator to discuss the State of Illinois' appeal of this decision. "This decision by FEMA is unacceptable and out of touch with t… Continue Reading


03.12.12

Durbin: Liquor Sale Cut-Off Should Be Permanent, Late Night Club Scene Still Must Be Addressed

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after learning that East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks temporarily suspended all non-casino sales of liquor after 1:00 AM following weekend shootings outside two East St. Louis night clubs. "This weekend's tragic and fatal violence at East St. Louis late night clubs should give Mayor Parks all the evidence he needs to step up and do the right thing. Temporary, half-way, half-hearted responses by Mayor P… Continue Reading


03.08.12

Durbin, Kirk, Delegation Call on President to Provide Federal Relief for Southern Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation today sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes last week. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to help pay for storm damage repai… Continue Reading


03.08.12

Senators: Surgeon General's Report on Youth Smoking Epidemic A Call to Action for State and the Federal Government

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said today that a report released by the Surgeon General on tobacco use among youth and young adults is a nationwide call to action for states and the federal government to sustain and even strengthen current effective tobacco control strategies. "This scientific report - which focuses not just on cigarettes but on all tobacco products, including flavored cigars a… Continue Reading


03.08.12

Durbin, Grassley Raise Concerns About "Specialized Knowledge" Standard in Visa Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) are raising concerns about potential changes being made to the L visa program that would further encourage companies to use the L-1B visa program to import foreign workers and evade restrictions of the H-1B visa program-which puts American workers at a disadvantage. The L-1B visa program allows companies to transfer employees with "specialized knowledge" from the foreign facilities to their U.S. offices for up to… Continue Reading


03.08.12

Durbin: Bipartisan Senate Transportation Bill is Best Route for Illinois Jobs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With Senate Democrats and Republicans having reached an agreement to advance a national transportation funding bill that would protect public transit, highways, and jobs in Illinois and across the country, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today pressed House Republican leaders to take up the Senate's bipartisan compromise that will create and protect millions of jobs nationwide while preventing crippling cuts to Illinois' highways and public transit agencies. Reports suggest … Continue Reading


03.08.12

Durbin, Blumenthal Question Potentially Deceptive Marketing at Rite Aid

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today questioned potentially deceptive marketing practices at the drugstore chain Rite Aid which has GNC dietary supplement stores in more than 2,000 Rite Aid pharmacies nationwide. In a letter to the President and CEO of Rite Aid, Durbin and Blumenthal express concern over the placement of "wellness stations" in stores, which are staffed by "wellness ambassadors" who take health questions from customers and oft… Continue Reading

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