Press Releases

03.09.11

House Republican Budget Cuts

Madam President, I wish to follow up on what was said by the majority leader. This exercise we are engaged in here, this conversation about how to finish this fiscal year which ends on October 1, is one that I think has gotten out of hand, and I will tell you why. I know the debt is a serious problem facing America. I know the deficit is something that threatens our economy and our way of living. I also know there are sensible, thoughtful ways to deal with it. One of them was addressed by… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin asks Department of Defense to Step up Efforts to Protect Servicemembers from Poor-Performing Colleges and Abusive Recruiting

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In light of a recent GAO Report that found that the Department of Defense (DOD) lacks basic oversight mechanisms of the Tuition Assistance program, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to do more to protect students and taxpayers from the worst excesses of the for-profit industry. According to the study, less than a third of the courses offered to military members have been reviewed. "I understand that you have begun … Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Calls on VA to Take More Aggressive Steps to Identify Colleges Abusing the GI Bill Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take more aggressive steps to identify colleges and universities that have taken advantage of GI Bill benefits and to remove them from the program. Specifically, Durbin asked the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, to look into the fourteen other Westwood College campuses including the four that are located in Illinois. "It is appropriate to cut off federal funding from colleges e… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Welcomes East Moline Mayor as Special Guest to the Joint Session of Congress

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the Mayor of East Moline, John Thodos, as his guest to an address by the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard to a joint session of Congress. Durbin, a member of the Senate Escort Committee, met with his guest prior to the joint session to discuss the importance of protecting the $240 million in federal funding to build a new rail line connecting Chicago to the Quad Cities and a new, energy efficient, multimodal station. … Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Meets With Champaign County First to Discuss Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Champaign County FIRST to discuss local priorities including transportation, local school improvements and high speed rail. Durbin asked for the group's help in opposing H.R.1 funding cuts that eliminate all unobligated funding for current and future high speed rail projects. The Champaign County FIRST committee serves as the unified voice of Champaign County to elected officials on the state and federal leve… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin, Lieberman, Lead Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Political Oppression in Belarus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) introduced a resolution today, condemning recent Belarusian elections as illegitimate and calling on the Belarusian regime to immediately release all political prisoners. The resolution also calls for expansion of the list of Belarusian officials who are subject to U.S. and European Union travel and financial sanctions, new elections in Belarus that meet international standards, expanded EU … Continue Reading


03.08.11

Durbin Op-Ed: College Tuition Tax Credit Offers up to $2,500 Per Year

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today submitted the following opinion piece for publication to Illinois College and University newspapers. Durbin has been working to spread the word about the availability of the American Opportunity Tax Credit which can save students and their families up to $2,500 per year on college tuition and expenses. In 2009, eligible Illinois families failed to claim $1 billion in the tax credit. College Tuition Tax Credit Offers Up To $2,500 pe… Continue Reading


03.08.11

College Tuition Tax Credit Offers Up To $2,500 per Year

President Obama and Congress have taken steps to help students and their families pay for a good college education. However, fewer than half of eligible families have taken advantage of it. If you or your parents haven't claimed the American Opportunity Tax Credit, there is still time. Over the last 5 years, the combined cost of tuition, fees, room and board at four-year public colleges and universities increased by 42% - far outpacing inflation and increases in household income. And wit… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Central District Judge Confirmation

Mr. President, I rise in support of two of the nominees. I will vote for all three, but I rise in support of two of the nominees--Sue Myerscough and James Shadid for the Central District of Illinois. These are nominees whom I presented to the President and who passed through the review not only by the White House but also by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now come before us today to be considered by the Senate. This day has come not a moment too soon for the Central District of Illino… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Tyrants can use Facebook, too

There has been much talk lately about the "Facebook revolution" in the Middle East. But the rhetoric oversimplifies a more complicated reality. The Internet has helped activists from Morocco to Iran organize demonstrations and publicize human rights abuses. The world had a front-row seat at the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions thanks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This publicity likely helped restrain government crackdowns on protesters. While the mainstream media has limited acces… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Durbin: Senate Confirms Myerscough and Shadid to Fill Federal Judgeships in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate has unanimously approved Sue Myerscough and James Shadid for federal judgeships on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. Prior to the vote, Durbin spoke in favor of the two nominees on the Senate floor. "This day has come not a moment too soon for the Central District of Illinois," said Durbin. "Since last August, the Central District of Illinois has had only one federal district c… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Durbin, Kirk, Manzullo Express Concern Over Post Office Consolidation

WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to the Postmaster General, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) today expressed concern about the United States Postal Service's plan to conduct a study examining the possibility of moving operations performed at the Rockford Processing and Distribution Facility to the Postal Service's Carol Stream facility. "We write to express our concerns about the proposed consolidation, which could have a negative… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Durbin Requests DOT Review On Air Traffic Controller Errors at O’Hare

WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following a Chicago Tribune report on an increase in air traffic controller errors at O'Hare International Airport, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct an immediate review of how controller training duties and practices have affected the increased number of mistakes at O'Hare. The Tribune has reported that operational errors have doubled from six to 17 over the past year. Durbin also asked the DOT to provide inform… Continue Reading


03.03.11

Great Lakes Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Stop Asian Carp

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) introduced legislation in the Senate, and Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced legislation in the House, to prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago Waterway. The Stop Asian Carp Act will require the speedy creation of an action plan to permanently separate Lake Michigan from the Chicago Area Waterway System, where experts believe Asian Carp could ente… Continue Reading


03.02.11

Durbin Announces More Than $90,000 in FEMA Grants to Illinois Fire Departments

[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 three grants totaling $93,545 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 possib… Continue Reading


03.02.11

Durbin: VA Disqualifies Three Westwood College Campuses From GI Bill Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has withdrawn education benefits from Westwood College's Houston South, Dallas and Fort Worth campuses. This announcement by the VA comes in the response to a February 14 letter to the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, in which Durbin requested a list of colleges and universities where the VA has suspended or withdrawn GI Bill and education benefits after discovering questionable … Continue Reading


03.02.11

Durbin, Kirk and Delegation Call on President to Provide Federal Relief for 74 Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation late last night in requesting that President Obama declare 74 Illinois counties - affected by a severe winter storm and snowstorm that began on January 31, 2011, and continued through February 11, 2011 - federal disaster areas. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to help pay for storm damag… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Illinois Lawmakers Introduce House and Senate Resolutions Condemning Iran's Continued Persecution of Baha'i Minority

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) today introduced bipartisan resolutions in the House and Senate calling attention to the continued plight of Baha'is in Iran. Baha'is comprise the largest religious minority in Iran, where the Baha'i religion was founded in the 19th century. According to the 2010 U.S. State Department International Religious Freedom Report, "Since the 1979 Isla… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Durbin: House Republican Cuts to Great Lakes Funding Would Hurt Asian Carp Prevention Efforts

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a meeting with the President's Special Assistant for the Great Lakes, Cam Davis, and Chairman of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, John Goss, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today vowed to work to protect funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Continuing Resolution (H.R.1) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, passed by the House of Representatives cuts funding for the Initiative by $250 million - from $475 million to $225 million - which, according t… Continue Reading


03.01.11

Durbin Announces $120,000 in Recovery Act Funding for Community Facility Improvements in Alexis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded a total of $120,000 in Community Facility grant and loan funding to the Village of Alexis in Warren County. The Village of Alexis will use this funding to make improvements to important utilities and community buildings. "Community facilities and services are an important part of everyday life for millions of rural Illinoisans," said Durbin … Continue Reading

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