Press Releases


Durbin Statement on the Passage of Bipartisan Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed a five-year reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, sending the bill to the President for his signature. The legislation will help ensure that all victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are protected and that organizations across the country assisting these victims continue to have access to critical funding and resources. "Sin… Continue Reading


Durbin, VItter Introduce Bill to Regulate Online Puppy Sales

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety Act today, a bill which would require all breeders that sell more than 50 dogs a year to be licensed and to undergo inspections to ensure dogs are receiving proper care. "The media regularly reports stories about dogs rescued from substandard facilities -- where dogs are housed in stacked wire cages and seriously ill and injured dogs are routinely denied … Continue Reading


Durbin, Enyart Meet with Scott Air Force Base Leaders to Discuss Ways to Maintain Base's Long-Term Strength

[SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Bill Enyart (D-IL-12) today met with leaders at Scott Air Force Base to discuss the base's long-term strength and security. Durbin, who was recently named Chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and Enyart were briefed on Scott's priorities, the future needs and the support necessary for the base to sustain its long-term health by Base Commander Colonel David Almand, General Paul Silva, the head… Continue Reading


Members of Congress Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Level the Playing Field for Local Merchants

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bipartisan group of 53 Senators and Representatives today introduced a bill that resolves the differences between bills introduced in the Senate and the House of Representatives last Congress that would allow local brick-and-mortar retailers to compete more effectively against out-of-state internet sellers. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 would give states the option to require the collection of sales and use taxes already owed under State law by out-of-state busines… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Federal Bureau of Prisons Assessment of Its Solitary Confinement Practices

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today announcing that the Federal Bureau of Prisons has agreed to a comprehensive and independent assessment of its use of solitary confinement in the nation's federal prisons. This first-ever review of federal segregation policies comes after Durbin chaired a hearing last year on the human rights, fiscal and public safety consequences of solitary confinement. Last week, Durbin and Bureau of Prison… Continue Reading


Durbin, Lautenberg, Blumenthal Introduce Legislation to Close Tobacco Tax Loopholes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was joined today by Senators Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) to introduce the Tobacco Tax Equity Act to close loopholes in the tax code that allow tobacco companies to avoid the federal cigarette and roll-your-own (RYO) tobacco tax. Because pipe tobacco is taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes, some companies have begun relabeling RYO tobacco as pipe tobacco to avoid paying the federal cigarette tax. The Joint Committee … Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Care in Midway Privatization

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged care in evaluating and approving any existing or future airport privatization agreements. Two airports are currently moving toward privatization through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s Airport Privatization Pilot Program - Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois and Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While Puerto Rico is clos… Continue Reading


Durbin Psys Tribute to Hadiya Pendleton on Senate Floor

On the one-year anniversary of shooting victim Hadiya Pendleton's tragic death, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today paid tribute to her memory on the Senate Floor, and commended her family and friends' ongoing efforts to help reduce gang and gun violence in Chicago. Durbin has co-sponsored a measure with Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) named in Hadiya's honor that would prohibit the trafficking and straw purchase of firearms. "I rise today to pay tribute to Hadiya Pendleton, lost one year ago toda… Continue Reading


Durbin, Bipartisan Group of Senators Unveil Immigration Reform Principles

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) unveiled a series of immigration reform principles today after months of negotiations with a bipartisan group of Senators. Durbin, joined by Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), said that our immigration system is broken and proposed a comprehensive set of principles which include giving immigrants a path to … Continue Reading


Durbin to Chair Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will become the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee when the panel organizes early next month. With the exception of military construction programs, the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee oversees funding for the military and intelligence community, our national security requirements and the daily needs of over two million active duty and reserve servicemembers. The Subcommittee also oversees… Continue Reading


Durbin Honors Stan "The Man" Musial on the Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today honored the life of Baseball Hall of Famer and St. Louis Cardinal Stan Musial, who passed away on Saturday. Durbin attended a February 2011 ceremony at the White House where President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Musial, widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players in history, who dedicated 22 years to the game of baseball, served in the Navy during World War II and committed the rest of his life to pub… Continue Reading


As Student Loan Debt Surpasses $1 Trillion, Senators Introduce Legislation to Address Crisis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in reintroducing two pieces of legislation - the Fairness for Struggling Students Act of 2013 and the Know Before You Owe Act of 2013 - to restore transparency, fairness and common sense to the student loan process. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the student loan debt among… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Secretary of Defense Nominee, Senator Chuck Hagel

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin met yesterday with President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, former Senator Chuck Hagel, to discuss his nomination and the challenges of supporting our troops and maintaining a strong national defense while reducing the national security threat of our budget deficit. They also discussed the important role the defense installations in Illinois, such as Rock Island Arsenal, Scott Air Force Base and Naval Station Great Lakes,… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Leahy in Introducing Legislation to Combat Illegal Straw Purchasing and Firearms Trafficking

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, last evening joined the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in introducing legislation that aims to combat the practice of "straw purchasing" and illegal trafficking in firearms. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 provides law enforcement officials with the tools they need to investigate and prosecute the all-too-common practice of straw purchasing, wh… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Death of Stan Musial

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement on the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial. Durbin attended a February 2011 ceremony at the White House where President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Musial, widely recognized as one of the greatest baseball players in history, who dedicated 22 years to the game of baseball, served in the Navy during World War II and committed the rest of his life to public service and the St. Lo… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Administration's Plan to Reduce Gun Violence

[Washington, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after President Obama unveiled a series of proposals to reduce gun violence following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last month. Today's proposals were spearheaded by Vice President Biden and come after a series of meetings with law enforcement, gun safety organizations, sportsmen's groups, the entertainment industry and mental health professionals. "Today's comprehensive pro… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces A More Than $129,000 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 $129,067 in grants to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do th… Continue Reading


Durbin Forwards Recommendations for Federal Judges in the Northern District to the White House

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Based on recommendations made by a bipartisan screening committee, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today forwarded a list of names to the White House for consideration when filling vacant judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Durbin forwarded the names of the following seven individuals to President Obama for consideration: Jorge Alonso, Michael Brody, Sara Ellis, Caryn Jacobs, Patricia Martin, Mary Smith and Andrea Wood. "One of t… Continue Reading


Durbin Hosts Gun Violence Listening Session with Chicago Area Law Enforcement Officials

[CHICAGO] - In preparation for the Congressional debate on gun violence expected to begin later this month, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with law enforcement leaders from the Chicago metropolitan area to discuss the strategies being used to reduce violent crime and prevent mass shootings in the city and surrounding communities and what Congress can do to help. "The slayings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School… Continue Reading


Illinois, Missouri Delegation Disappointed by Air Force's Decision

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) expressed concern with the Air Force's decision not to select Scott Air Force Base as a candidate for its next generation aerial refueling tanker. The Air Force selected five candidate locations after a review of existing refueling bases and may consider Scott for later tranches of the KC-46A aircraft. The joint Illinois and Missouri delegation will review the details surr… Continue Reading

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