Press Releases

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


02.28.11

Durbin: House Cuts Stifle American Innovation

[ARGONNE, IL] - Drastic cuts to federal spending for important scientific research would jeopardize America's role as a global leader in research and innovation, as well as 1,450 high-paying jobs in Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today after meeting with lead researchers at Argonne National Laboratory. The federal spending bill for the current fiscal year (FY11), which was approved by the House of Representatives last Saturday morning, included a $1.1 billion cut to the Departmen… Continue Reading


02.28.11

Durbin and Quinn Statement on Announcement that Morgan County Will Host FutureGen 2.0

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today made the following statement after the FutureGen Alliance announced that Morgan County has been chosen to host the FutureGen 2.0 carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site, visitor center, research, and training facilities. The FutureGen 2.0 project and pipeline network is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to downstate Illinois and another 1,000 jobs for suppliers across the state. "Bringing together all the component… Continue Reading


02.27.11

Durbin: House Cuts to Medical Research Funding Put Illinois Jobs at Risk and Jeopardize America's Leading Role in Bio-Medical Research

[CHICAGO, IL] - Thousands of medical research jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity are at risk as the result of drastic federal spending cuts proposed by the House of Representatives to the National Institute of Health's budget, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at Northwestern University's Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center. The federal spending bill for the current fiscal year (FY11), which was approved by the House early Saturday morning, included a $1.6 billion… Continue Reading


02.25.11

Durbin: Now is Not The Time to Cut Programs That Help Get People Back to Work

[WOODSTOCK, IL] - Displaced workers will lose access to job retraining, career counseling and job listings as the result of drastic federal spending cuts proposed by the House of Representatives to programs funded through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. WIA funds are substantially cut in the House of Representatives spending bill for the current fiscal year (FY11), which was approved along party lines by the House early Saturday morning. The legisl… Continue Reading


02.25.11

Durbin Vows to Fight House Republican Prohibition on CPSC Database ‘Putting Children and Consumers at Risk'

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today vowed to fight a House Budget provision which prohibits the Consumer Product Safety Commission from providing American families with timely information on dangerous toys and products. The Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) passed by the Republicans in the House of Representatives last week would remove funding for a publicly accessible database where consumers can report and research potential hazards in toys, cribs and other products. Dur… Continue Reading


02.25.11

Durbin Will Fight for Federal Funding Promised to Barrington for EJ&E Mitigation, But Taken Back by House Bill

[BARRINGTON, IL] - A $2.8 million federal grant to the City of Barrington to fund the planning, designing and engineering of a grade separation at the U.S. Route 14 and Eastern Joliet & Elgin (EJ&E) Railway crossing is now at risk after the House of Representatives passed its spending bill, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The project's funding through the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER II program is eliminated in the House of Representatives spending bill for the… Continue Reading


02.24.11

Durbin Statement on Decline in For-Profit College Enrollment

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after reading reports that new enrollments in Kaplan University declined by 47% in the fourth quarter of last year. In January, the University of Phoenix reported a 42% decline over the same period. "Despite spending millions of dollars on advertising and securing a favorable vote by House Republicans to shield their industry from oversight, for-profit schools across America are facing a wholesale exodus of … Continue Reading

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