Press Releases


Durbin, Roberts Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Support Rural EMS Agencies

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) today introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize a federal grant program that directly supports rural emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in training and recruiting staff, conducting courses to satisfy certification requirements, and purchasing equipment-for everything from naloxone and first aid kits, to power stretchers or new ambulances. The Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act would reauthorize … Continue Reading


Durbin Urges FRA To Take More Active Role In Ensuring Amtrak's On-Time Performance

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today pressed the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to take a more active role in working with the freight railroads to ensure Amtrak's on-time performance improves in Illinois and around the country. Amtrak's Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale route continues to be one of the worst preforming routes in the country. The Illini and Saluki trains are consistently delayed by Canadian National Railway's (CN) freight train interference and the ongoing spee… Continue Reading


Durbin Presses Trump Administration To Take Stronger Action To Protect Kids From E-Cigarette Addiction

WASHINGTON - Today, in a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) FY19 budget request, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) pressed HHS Secretary Azar about how his agency plans to confront the rapid growth of e-cigarette and vaping use among youth in the United States. Durbin, while holding up e-cigarette packages and fruit- and candy-flavorings to show how the products are deliberately designed to appeal to children, criticized the … Continue Reading


Grassley, Durbin: Sentencing Reform Necessary For Senate Consideration Of Criminal Justice Reform

WASHINGTON-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today expressed optimism for continued consideration of criminal justice reform proposals, but warned that inclusion of key sentencing reforms is necessary to win Senate approval: "We are encouraged to see our House colleagues continue a serious discussion about necessary reforms to our nation's criminal justice system. However, as we move forward, reforms to federal sentencing la… Continue Reading


Judiciary Committee Democrats Call On President To Withdraw Controversial Justice Dept Nominee Tied To Russian Bank

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats are calling on President Trump to withdraw his controversial nomination of Brian Benczkowski to lead the Department of Justice's Criminal Division. Mr. Benczkowski represented Alfa Bank, a massive private commercial bank in Russia closely allied with President Vladimir Putin and his government, and has refused to pledge to recuse himself from Russia-related matters if confirmed. With new revelations coming to light about Russia's interference … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Trump Administration Decision To Shutter CFPB Office Designed To Protect Student Loan Borrowers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after the Trump Administration announced plans to shut down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) Office for Students and Young Consumers: The Trump Administration's message to families ripped off by student loan fraud: 'stop whining.' Today's action to dismantle a student loan watchdog office at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - which has returned three quarters of a billion… Continue Reading


Durbin Presses Trump Administration On Decision To Violate The Iran Nuclear Deal

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today questioned Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford on President Trump's decision to put the United States in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement. In 2015, Durbin led the effort in the Senate that ultimately allowed the Iran Nuclear Agreement to proceed, sec… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Push For Answers On Thebes Housing Crisis, Press HUD To Fully Abate Rent For Residents

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today pressed Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson for details on his department's decision to close the Mary Alice Meadows (MAM) and Sunset Terrace (ST) housing complexes in Thebes, Illinois, and relocate the approximately 28 families living there. "HUD has cited immediate health and safety concerns present in the MAM and ST units and the inability of ACHA to feasibly remedy these hazards as justification fo… Continue Reading


Durbin Rips Trump Decision To Break Iran Deal

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate floor after President Trump announced that he will unilaterally pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement. In 2015, Durbin led the effort in the Senate that ultimately allowed the Iran Agreement to proceed, securing enough votes to block an effort to derail it. "So here we are today, with President Trump plunging us and our allies into unc… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Trump Violating The Iran Deal

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after President Trump announced that he will unilaterally pull the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement: The last thing America and the world need right now is a new nuclear threat. Breaking this deal increases the danger that Iran will restart its nuclear weapons program, which threatens our ally, Israel, and destabilizes the entire Middl… Continue Reading


Durbin Questions CIA Openly Lobbying For Haspel Nomination

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), vice chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, today questioned the role of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in openly and actively using Agency resources to promote the nomination of Gina Haspel to serve as its next director. "These efforts to promote a national security nomination appear to be without precedent in recent history," said Durbin. "Congress is being lobbied aggressively, and we must consider whether our in… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on Trump Administration to Stop Sabotaging Health Care for Americans by Pushing Junk Insurance Plans

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on President Trump's Administration to halt the expansion of junk insurance plans that would once again allow health insurance companies to refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, raise premiums significantly for older Americans, and exclude basic benefits such as maternity care or prescription drugs. The Trump Administration has proposed a new rule to expand so-called "short-term" insurance plans to bypass the consumer prote… Continue Reading


Durbin, Manchin, Markey Press FDA To Heed Public Health Requests, Remove Ultra-High Dosage Opioids From The Market

WASHINGTON-In the midst of our nation's unprecedented opioid epidemic, which is killing 115 Americans every day, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Ed Markey (D-MA) today urged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove ultra-high dosage opioids from the market. Ultra-high dose opioids are those which, when taken as directed by the label, exceed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) threshold for dangerously high daily opioid intake. For examp… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Statement On Rauner Administration's Plans For Next Steps At IVH Quincy

CHICAGO - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding the release of Governor Bruce Rauner's plan of action for ensuring the safety of residents, family, and staff at the Illinois Veterans' Home (IVH) Quincy: "The need for a detailed plan of action is critical and long overdue given the multiple outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease at IVH Quincy that have sickened more than 65 residents and killed 13 over the past three years. The … Continue Reading


Durbin Raises Questions About Possible Collusion Between U.S. & Texas Attorneys General In Termination Of DACA

CHICAGO-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to provide detailed information about the Trump Administration's possible collusion with the State of Texas to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Last year, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and nine other state attorneys general threatened to sue the Trump Administration unless the Administration agreed to "phase out" DACA by September 5, 2017. Sessions cited… Continue Reading


Durbin, Dem Senators To EPA: Don't Weaken Coal Ash Rule

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led 10 Democratic Senators in urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to not weaken the federal regulation for the safe disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) or "coal ash", which protects drinking water, human health, and the environment. The 2015 rule established by the EPA sets minimum federal standards for coal ash disposal. Since the rule was finalized, Congress passed the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Natio… Continue Reading


Senate Leaders Raise Questions About Nomination Of Tom Homan To Head Immigration And Customs Enforcement

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led 17 senators in calling on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to immediately provide all documentation provided to the Senate's Homeland Security Committee regarding Tom Homan, President Trump's controversial nominee to head U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Mr. Homan has been acting as the agency's director since January 30, 2017, but his nomination has been pending in the Senate for more than six months… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Statement On Eviction Notice For Public Housing In Cairo

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced an eviction date for the individuals and families living at Elmwood and McBride housing complexes in Cairo, Illinois: It has been more than a year since HUD told 185 families that they must relocate from the Elmwood and McBride housing complexes in Cairo, Illinois, without any clear plan to rehouse those who w… Continue Reading


Durbin, Graham Introduce Bipartisan Election Interference Bill

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) today introduced the bipartisan Defending Elections against Trolls from Enemy Regimes (DETER) Act, which will prevent foreign regimes from exploiting our immigration laws to advance their efforts to undermine our democracy. This bill will make "improper interference in U.S. elections" a ground of inadmissibility under U.S. immigration law, and violators would be barred from obtaining a visa to enter the United States. "In 20… Continue Reading


Senate Confirms Brendan Heffner To Be U.S. Marshal For Central District Of Illinois

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate voted unanimously to confirm the nomination of Brendan O. Heffner to serve as United States Marshal for the Central District of Illinois: "Through many years of service to Illinois, Brendan Heffner has demonstrated strong qualifications to serve as United States Marshal. We expect him to serve with professionalism, responsibility, and a clear focus on the mission of the Marsh… Continue Reading

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