Press Releases


Durbin, Duckworth Join Colleagues To Introduce VoteSafe Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and U.S. Representatives James Clyburn (D-SC-6) and Marcia Fudge (D-OH-11) to introduce the VoteSafe Act, legislation to expand voting options and improve the safety and accessibility of polling places across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Voting is foundational to our democracy, and during an election year, the coronavirus pandemic has created additional obstacles to reachin… Continue Reading


Durbin: We Need Federal Workplace Safety Standards To Protect Workers And Consumers During COVID-19

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today participated in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that examined Republican proposals to give businesses liability immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the hearing, Durbin said that protecting health and safety must be the first priority, not giving corporations immunity when people get sick or when workers are forced to work in unsafe conditions. "I wish this hearing was entitled 'why has our government failed to pro… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Introduction Of Democratic Coronavirus Economic Stimulus Package

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding introduction of the Heroes Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional Democrats' legislation for the next coronavirus economic stimulus package: "Tragically, more than 80,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, and more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs in the economic fallout. Working families are struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof o… Continue Reading


Durbin, Grassley, Booker Call On Ninth Circuit To Uphold Congressional Intent Of First Step Act Provision In Bipartisan Amicus Brief

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), lead authors and sponsors of the First Step Act - landmark criminal justice reform legislation - today submitted a bipartisan Amicus Brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in United States of America v Alan L. Mapuatuli, a case related to the reduction of the second strike and third strike drug mandatory minimums. The bipartisan Brief argues that Congress intended the First Step Act (FSA) to appl… Continue Reading


Durbin To McConnell: Stand By Workers First, Not Corporations

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke about the importance of putting worker health and safety first as we deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin criticized Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) demand to give corporations legal immunity from COVID-19 related liability before considering another COVID-19 emergency aid bill for small businesses, state and local governments, and health care providers. Durbin als… Continue Reading


Durbin, Colleagues Announce Bill To Improve Medicare Payments Program And Provide Financial Relief For Health Care Providers On Frontlines Of COVID-19

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today to announce that they'll introduce legislation to reduce interest rates and modify repayment obligations for health care providers who've sought financial assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic through Medicare's Accelerated and Advance Payments Program. This program was expanded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to allow for hospitals, physician… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Announce $25 Million in Federal Funding to Help Illinois Health Centers Expand COVID-19 Testing

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $25,226,505 in federal grants to support expanded COVID-19 testing at 45 Community Health Centers (CHCs) across the state. This funding comes from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which was signed into law on April 24th. Congressional Democrats fought to ensure that this legislation included a total of $25 billion in new funding to help improve our n… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group Of Senators In Urging Indemnity Support For Pork Producers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today in sending a bipartisan letter with 12 of their Senate colleagues to Congressional leaders seeking additional funding for programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that would assist pork producers faced with depopulating livestock herds because of restaurant and meat processing plant closures during the pandemic. "The crisis is immediate. Pork produc… Continue Reading


Durbin, Smith Introduce Legislative Fix To Help State And Local Governments Provide Paid Leave During Pandemic

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced a legislative fix that would help state and local governments provide public employees with paid leave when they need it most. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law in March, requires many public and private employers to provide paid leave for workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. That law provides tax credits to private-sector employers to cover the costs of paid leave. But the… Continue Reading


Durbin: Unimaginable That President Trump & Republicans Are Continuing Efforts To Eliminate ACA During Global Health Pandemic

WASHINGTON-In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called out President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans for their continued efforts to eliminate the Affordable Care Act amid a global health pandemic. Durbin cited the pending Supreme Court case in which the Trump Administration and Republican-led states are seeking to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, which would rip health insurance away from 20 million Americans and eliminate importan… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth, Senate Democrats To Trump Administration: Stop Playing Politics With The U.S. Postal Service

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) in leading a group of 27 Senators in sending a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, urging him to reject politically motivated conditions on financial relief for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), which is a critical lifeline for many Americans, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senators also expressed their strong opposition to the use of COVID-19 as a pretext to purs… Continue Reading


Durbin, Merkley, Colleagues Urge SBA And Treasury To Reject Payday Lenders From Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), urged the Small Business Administration (SBA) and Treasury Department to reject requests from payday lenders to gain eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the Senators warned that payday lenders target the mos… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Response With Northwestern University President

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke with Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and Interim Vice President for Research Milan Mrksich to discuss the response of higher education to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the call, Durbin also talked with Schapiro and Mrksich about continuing to fund research at Northwestern University's Center for Synthetic Biology, which is developing a quick-screen device to test for COVID-19 or similar infectious diseases. "For many college stude… Continue Reading


Durbin: United States Cannot Step Away From World Effort To Find Vaccine

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke about the importance of continuing to work with the global community to fight the coronavirus pandemic and support the development of a vaccine. Durbin spoke about the shortsightedness of the Trump Administration's refusal to join countries around the world this week to discuss how to raise funds to research, manufacture, and distribute a possible vaccine and treatments to COVID-19. Durbin also slammed President Trump's d… Continue Reading


Durbin Highlights Immigrant Health Heroes On The Frontlines Of COVID-19 On Senate Floor

WASHINGTON - In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, today thanked the health care heroes on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and highlighted one special group of health care workers - immigrants. Durbin also called on Senate Republicans to support the bipartisan House-passed American Dream and Promise Act, which will establish a path to citizenship for Dreamers a… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Push For Robust Federal COBRA Subsidies In The Next COVID-19 Legislation With Chicago Federation Of Labor

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Robert Reiter, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL), to discuss why Congress should provide federal subsidies for COBRA health care coverage as part of the next coronavirus relief package. Since the middle of March, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Experts estimate that 10 to 15 million of these newly unemployed individuals have also lost their employer-sponsored health insurance. Du… Continue Reading


Durbin Raises Racial & Ethnic Disparity In COVID-19 Pandemic During Call With CDC Director

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield about the alarming disparities among communities of color in COVID-19 mortality. During the call, Durbin mentioned his Chicago HEAL Initiative and a letter he sent to Dr. Redfield last week about funding for state and local efforts to bolster community workforce capacity for contact tracing and other outreach efforts in addressing this public h… Continue Reading


Durbin: Instead Of Responding To COVID-19 Pandemic, Senate Republicans Charging Ahead With Judicial Nomination Of Justin Walker

WASHINGTON - During today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Justin Walker to the D.C. Circuit Court, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for prioritizing this nomination over responding to the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 70,000 Americans. Durbin noted that there are many important and timely COVID-19 topics that the Senate Judiciary Committee and its subcommittees should be focused on,… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schakowsky Introduce Bill To Expand Health Care Workforce To Meet Nationwide Challenges Highlighted By COVID-19

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), a Senior Chief Deputy Whip, today introduced bicameral legislation to provide a historic investment in the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) and Nurse Corps programs to cover graduate education costs for more than 300,000 clinicians in order to help address existing health workforce shortages throughout our health care system. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed existing health workfor… Continue Reading


Durbin, Scott Continue To Press For Robust Federal COBRA Subsidies In The Next COVID-19 Legislation

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA-03) joined a conference call with leaders from Third Way, Mathematica, Families USA, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, and Brookings, to discuss why Congress should provide federal subsidies for COBRA health care coverage as part of the next coronavirus relief package. Since the middle of March, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.… Continue Reading

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