Press Releases

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


03.07.12

Durbin, Blumenthal, Harkin Introduce Bill Protecting Union Rights

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) today introduced the Re-empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Tradeworkers (RESPECT) Act. This legislation would modify present law to ensure workers are not stripped of their union protection. "Millions of hard-working men and women, both in Illinois and across America, lack the basic right to discuss the terms of their working conditions," said Durbin. "The RE… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Durbin, Hagan, Schumer Urge Robust Action to Protect Consumers from Predatory Lending

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Kay R. Hagan (D-NC), Charles Schumer (D-NY) this week urged the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Richard Cordray, to take additional steps to limit payday lenders from preying on consumers. The Senators sent a letter to Cordray on Monday. The text of that letter is attached. This week is designated as National Consumer Protection Week. "Even as our economy begins to show signs of recovery, many hardworking f… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Durbin Meets with Bloomington-Normal Officials to Discuss Economic Development and Transportation Issues

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today met with business and labor leaders from the Bloomington-Normal area who were in Washington, DC as part of the fifth annual "One Voice" trip. Durbin and members of the group discussed the region's economic development as well as other issues affecting McLean County including the pending transportation bill being debated in the Senate and agricultural issues. The Senate is currently debating a bipartisan transportation funding bill which maintain… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Durbin: USDA Includes Illinois in New Certification Process to Reduce Errors and Fraud in School Lunch Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture for including the State of Illinois - including the Chicago Public Schools - in a new demonstration project that will help reduce fraud in the National School Lunch Program and increase enrollment among eligible low-income children. Under this announcement, Illinois will be able to enroll students automatically for free schools meals based on participation in Medicaid which can help prevent e… Continue Reading


03.07.12

Durbin Urges Eligible Illinoisans to Take Advantage of Free Online Tax Assistance

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] With the deadline for filing federal tax returns rapidly approaching, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today encouraged qualifying Illinoisans to take advantage of free tax preparation services available through the IRS Free File program. The program allows taxpayers with a 2011 Adjusted Gross Income of $57,000 or lower to have their federal tax returns prepared, completed and e-filed at no cost. "This program provides a valuable service at no cost to low- and middle-income… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Durbin: Marketplace Fairness Act Will Help Local Governments Avoid Hikes, Painful Cuts

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Two days after the National Association of Counties (NACo), the only national organization representing county government, officially endorsed the Marketplace Fairness Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed several benefits that the bipartisan federal legislation would provide for state and local governments in a speech at NACo's 2012 Legislative Conference. The legislation, introduced by Senators Durbin, Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and a bipartisa… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Marketplace Fairness Act: A Matter of Fiscal Discipline and Basic Fairness

National Association of Counties 2012 Legislative Conference Washington, DC I want to thank NACO's president, Commissioner Lenny Eliason, for that generous introduction. I also want to recognize NACO's executive director Larry Naake. I understand we have a good-sized delegation from Illinois here including leaders from Cook County, DeKalb County, Lake County, McHenry County and Peoria, Tazewell and Will counties. It's good to see so many people from home. Thank you all for inviting m… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Durbin and Reed Introduce Project Rebuild Act to Help Turn Around Vacant Homes and Businesses

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In an effort to create jobs, stabilize neighborhoods, and rehab vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jack Reed (D-RI) today introduced the Project Rebuild Act to help rehab houses and businesses that have been abandoned through foreclosure. The legislation would provide targeted assistance through both formula funding and new competitive grants to renovate vacant residential and commercial properties. HUD estimates that Illinois coul… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Durbin Meets With Champaign Chamber to Discuss Regional Transportation Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with leaders from Champaign County Chamber of Commerce who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in to discuss local transportation priorities, including job-creating road construction projects. Durbin also discussed bipartisan legislation he has introduced called the Marketplace Fairness Act which would allow local brick-and-mortar retailers in Champaign and across Illinois to compete more effectively against out-of-state in… Continue Reading


03.06.12

Durbin, Senators Urge Justice Department, FDA to Appeal Tobacco Warning Label Ruling

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was joined by U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Al Franken (D-MI), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging an immediate appeal of the recent ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which found that graphic cigarette warning labels are unconstitutional. … Continue Reading


03.05.12

Durbin, Nelson Statement on the Department of Justice's Challenge of Florida's New Voting Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - United States Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) each released the following statements today after the U.S. Department of Justice filed papers in court challenging portions of Florida's new voting law. "The Justice Department has made the right decision in challenging Florida's new voting law," Durbin said. "The Florida law's onerous new restrictions are unfair, unwise and will have a disproportionate impact on minority, young, low income and other voter… Continue Reading


03.05.12

Durbin Calls on Mayor Parks to Rein In Club Scene and Stop Late Night Liquor Sales

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on East St. Louis Mayor Alvin L. Parks Jr., to partner with federal, state and local officials to reduce crime in East St. Louis by reining in the city's club scene and stopping late night liquor sales. "It is imperative that the leadership of East St. Louis put the safety of East St. Louis residents before the interests of the liquor stores, night clubs and other establishments that attract crime. Simply put, the nightclubs and the liquor sales n… Continue Reading


03.02.12

Durbin: Congress Must Act to Protect Families Across Illinois From Critical Drug Shortages

[CHICAGO, IL] - Families of sick children and adults-and the medical professionals who care for them-should not have to worry about where they are going to find the next dose of life-saving drugs, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at Children's Memorial Hospital. The bipartisan Preserving Access to Life-Saving Medications Act, of which Durbin is a co-sponsor, would require drug manufacturers to notify the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of a disruption to a drug supply six months in a… Continue Reading

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