Press Releases


Durbin Bill to Aid Reforestation Efforts in Haiti Clears Committee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bill introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) to dedicate U.S. expertise and resources to reforestation efforts in Haiti was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, clearing the way for consideration by the full Senate. Once covered by thick tropical forest, Haiti is now 98 percent deforested. That deforestation has caused widespread soil erosion; the destruction of natural barriers from hurricanes; and contributes to widespread and ab… Continue Reading


Senate Democrats Urge Chief Justice Roberts to Release Ethics Rules

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Al Franken (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote to the Supreme Court's Chief Justice, John Roberts, yesterday, urging him to take steps to improve the transparency of the Court by publicly releasing all of its ethics rules and affirming that the Justices follow the same ethics code which applies to all other federal judges. "… Continue Reading


Durbin-Snowe Bill to Eliminate the Practice of Child Marriage Overseas Passes Committee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Legislation introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) which seeks to end the destructive practice of child marriage overseas was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, sending the measure to the full Senate for consideration. The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act would require that the U.S. develop an integrated, strategic approach to reduce, and ultimately end, the practi… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Inland Bank's Decision to Adopt Fee Disclosure Form

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Inland Bank CEO, Howard Jaffe, yesterday applauding the bank's decision to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form designed to make checking and savings accounts terms and fees transparent and easy for consumers to understand, as he has been urging. A copy of that letter is pasted below and attached. "Inland Bank's decision to voluntarily adopt a simple and clear fee disclosure form will help consumers and shows that transpare… Continue Reading


Durbin: Consumers Deserve Clear, Concise Information About Their Health Care Costs

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As additional consumer-oriented provisions of the landmark health care reform law continue to be implemented, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded a new federal rule that will help Illinoisans and all Americans better understand their out-of-pocket health care costs, make better health insurance choices, and prevent after-the-fact sticker-shock. The rule requires insurers to provide a clear, concise summary of a plan's benefits and coverage costs as well a simple … Continue Reading


Durbin: President Obama's Budget Would Create Jobs in Illinois and Maintain a Path Towards Reducing Our Debt

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the budget that President Obama delivered to Congress today makes tough choices to get us back on a stable financial footing while investing in three key areas - education, innovation and infrastructure - that will create jobs and strengthen the United States' role as a global leader in the 21st century. "America owes over $15 trillion to our creditors and we still have millions out of work," said Durbin. "The Pre… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $500,000 in HUD Funding for Safety and Security

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois communities and housing agencies will receive $498,100 in grant funding through the Emergency Safety and Security Program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "Public housing agencies offer important affordable housing opportunities to residents throughout Illinois. This funding will help ensure that those residents are safe and secure in their homes," Durb… Continue Reading


Lincoln's Footprints in the Senate

The Abraham Lincoln Association Banquet Springfield, Illinois I want to thank Tom Schwartz for that generous introduction. Good evening, Abraham Lincoln Association President Bob Lenz, members of the association's board of directors, distinguished guests and scholars. The first time I ran for the United States Senate, in 1996, my opponent and I agreed to take part in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate in Charleston. Except for the length, it was disconcertingly authentic - right down to th… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $2 Million in Federal Funding for Springfield Transit

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - Transit users in Springfield will soon be able to ride on cleaner, more efficient buses as the result of nearly $2 million in federal transit funding, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The Springfield Mass Transit District received $1.95 million to replace five aging buses with new clean diesel models through the Federal Transit Authority. "These new buses will allow Springfield to save money on fuel and keep our air clean because they use fuel more efficiently … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Major Housing Settlement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after a group of States Attorneys General - including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan - reached a $25 billion settlement with the nation's five largest banks over lending practices that led to the housing market crash. Illinois stands to receive $1 billion in assistance. "Today's settlement with five major banks is an important victory for homeowners across the country who have been the victims of heav… Continue Reading


Durbin, Quinn Applaud Nearly $2 Million Federal Investment in Rockford Multi-Modal Station

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today announced that $1.95 million in federal funding has been awarded to the Rockford area for the development and design of a new multi-modal station in Rockford. Today's funding is in addition to the $3 million in Illinois Jobs Now! capital plan funding that was announced last month by Quinn. "With this new multimodal station, Rockford is set to benefit from the economic boost that comes with passenger ra… Continue Reading


Durbin, Grassley Bill to Require Televising Supreme Court Proceedings Passes Committee Test

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bill to require open proceedings of the Supreme Court to be televised, introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a vote of 11-7. The Cameras in the Courtroom Act of 2011 would require television coverage of all open sessions of the Court, unless the Court decides, by a vote of the majority of justices, that doin… Continue Reading


Durbin and Quinn Announce $100,000 for Fair Housing Assistance

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Human Rights will receive $100,000 in funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help prevent housing discrimination. The funding was awarded through the Fair Housing Assistance Program, which assists state and local agencies administer fair housing laws that are consistent with the Federal Fair Housing Act. "The i… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $414,000 Investment in Illinois First-Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has made a $414,162 investment in four fire departments in Illinois. Today's funding will help support and improve the capability of each department and protection district to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As t… Continue Reading


Durbin: Both Parties Must Work Together to Prevent Looming Tax Increase on Working Families

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With last year's bipartisan payroll tax cut extension compromise set to expire at the end of this month, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today detailed the additional take-home pay that Illinois workers and families can expect if Congressional negotiators reach an agreement to extend the Middle Class Tax Cut Act through the end of the year. The expected savings, released in a new Congressional Joint Economic Committee report, highlight the importance of preventing the tax cu… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on First Ever Deportation of Human Rights Violators Based on His Use of Child Soldiers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after an immigration judge ordered the deportation of a George Saigbe Boley, a former Liberian military leader and human rights violator. This deportation was the first under the Child Soldiers Accountability Act, a 2008 law authored by Senator Durbin, which made it illegal under US law to recruit or use child solders. Boley was found to have recruited and used child soldiers while fighting in the Liberian … Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves Bill to Protect Essential Air Service for Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that late last night the U.S. Senate approved legislation that will ensure that Illinois communities including Marion, Quincy and Decatur will remain a part of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. The FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act - approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week and will now go to the President for his signature - helps rural areas keep the commercial air service they ha… Continue Reading


Congress Approves Durbin Provision to Encourage Partnerships Between Air and Rail Travel

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study ways to increase coordination between air and passenger rail travel is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which was approved today by the U.S. Senate. The provision specifically identifies codeshare agreements as one way that airlines and passenger rail providers can better coor… Continue Reading


Congress Approves Durbin Provision to Encourage Sustainable Airport Design

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), that would help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) create a standardized, voluntary set of best practices to help airports operate and build sustainable facilities was included in the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which was approved today by the U.S. Senate. The provision would establish a working group to develop these standards and help create a voluntary rating system. The… Continue Reading


Durbin Commends Amtrak and Metra for Actions to Lower Pollution, Calls on Old Post Office Owner to Cooperate

[CHICAGO, IL] - A collaborative effort among Amtrak, Metra, and state and federal agencies to reduce diesel soot emissions and improve air quality in and around Union Station has already produced positive results, but further progress requires the full cooperation of adjacent property owners, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. Durbin wrote a letter today to the owner of the Old Post Office located south of Union Station to ask that he properly maintain and operate the ventilation system… Continue Reading

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