Press Releases


Durbin Initiatives to Improve Mental Health Services & Combat Prescription Opioid Abuse Included in Committee Passed Legislation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that his legislation to improve mental health services on college campuses - Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act - and his initiative to require better FDA oversight of opioids that he originally introduced as an amendment to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) were included in the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 that was passed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions earlier today.… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Chicago City Council Action to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) applauded the Chicago City Council's action today to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use. "Thanks to tobacco control measures like banning smoking in public places and placing warning labels on cigarette cartons, far fewer people smoke now than did fifty years ago. But we still have a long way to go. The Chicago City Council took action today to move us closer to our goal of a generation of kids who grow up tobacco-free. I commend Alderman Bu… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to Supreme Court

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on the President's nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court: I applaud President Obama's decision to nominate Chief Judge Merrick Garland. Judge Garland is an outstanding attorney and jurist with an admirable list of accomplishments. Born in Chicago and raised in Lincolnwood, Illinois, he received undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard and clerk… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Senate Democrats to Introduce Major College Affordability Reform Legislation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and members of the Senate Democratic caucus to introduce the In the Red Act - a major reform to address college affordability and put America on a path toward debt-free college education. The In the Red Act will allow student loan borrowers to refinance outstanding debt at lower rates, increase Pell Grants to keep pace with rising costs and make a new investment in community college. Additionally,… Continue Reading


Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Mental Health Services on College Campuses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Responding to the pressing need for enhanced mental health services on college campuses across the country, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined with U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) today to introduce bipartisan legislation to improve mental health services on college campuses. The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act - which was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky - would provide funding to coll… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schakowsky, Bustos to Travel to Cuba with President Obama

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) will travel to Cuba on Sunday with President Obama. Obama will be only the second sitting U.S. President to visit Cuba after Calvin Coolidge's visit in 1928. "I'm excited to join President Obama in Cuba-the changes he has made to America's Cuba policy mark a new and long overdue diplomatic chapter in our hemisphere," said Durbin. "Reestablishing travel and trade relati… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on VA Action Against For-Profit DeVry University

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced that it has suspended DeVry University's status as a "Principles of Excellence" school. DeVry University is a for-profit college whose students cumulatively hold $8.3 billion in student debt - the fourth highest debt volume of any higher education institution in America - and have a 2009 five-year cohort student loan default rate of 43%. "I'm ple… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Department of Education's Proposed Mandatory Arbitration Ban

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the Department of Education released its latest proposal for new federal regulations on federal student loan relief for students who attended colleges or universities that engaged in unlawful, unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices. The proposal includes a provision that, if adopted in the rulemaking process, would effectively end the use of mandatory arbitration agreements by institutions of higher e… Continue Reading


Senators Ask for Investigation Into Large One-Size-Fits-All Cancers Medication That Costs Patients & Taxpayers Billions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Eleven U.S. Senators today called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to investigate the impact that selling medicine in large one-size-fits-all vials - that exceed the amount needed by most patients - has on the federal health care system and public health - including access to medicine. Further, the letter requests recommendations regarding how Congress and the Administration can work together to combat this pr… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Passes Legislation Authorizing Programs to Combat Heroin Epidemic, But Falls Short on Funding

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act which outlines an integrated approach to fighting heroin and opioid abuse. At the same time, Durbin cautioned that the bill falls short of providing the required funding to implement many of the important programs in the bill. Prior to final passage of the legislation, the Senate defeated an amendment - supported by Durbin - that would have provided $600 million in suppl… Continue Reading


In Letter to Education Department, Durbin Raises Concerns About Apollo Sale

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to Under Secretary Ted Mitchell at the Department of Education, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today questioned how the sale of Apollo Education Group to a group of private investors will impact students and taxpayers at a time when the University of Phoenix - owned by Apollo - has come under increased scrutiny from state and federal regulators. "While it is still unclear what the transaction and new ownership will mean for academic quality and student out… Continue Reading


Ahead of Spring Storms, Durbin & Quigley Call for Study of Urban Flooding

[WASHINGTON, DC] - With the spring storm season approaching, and extreme weather events increasing in severity and frequency, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) wrote to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Director Craig Fugate today to ask that the agency "quickly initiate…a nationwide study focusing on the prevalence, causes, and costs of urban flooding." Congress directed FEMA to conduct a study of urban flooding and flood damage u… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $1.6 Million in HUD Funding for Illinois Housing and Community Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that five communities in Illinois will receive a total of $1,579,817 in grant funding through the Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency (ROSS) Program, a federal grant program administered by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help develop urban communities. "This federal investment will give local development agencies across Illinois the ability to offer affordable housing and homeless assistance … Continue Reading


Durbin: Tobacco Use Impacts Military Readiness

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense on the Defense Health Program, Vice Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) pressed the Surgeons General of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force on their response to the high rate of tobacco use among service members. Durbin asked, "When we use the word 'readiness' in every other sentence, when talking about our military, the obvious question is: why is it that the rate of tobacco usage in the military is signific… Continue Reading


Durbin Presses HUD Secretary to Strengthen Lead Standards to Protect Children

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After introducing legislation to require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to update its lead regulations to match standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the HUD Secretary, Julian Castro, to conduct a thorough review of its regulations of acceptable lead exposure levels for children living in federally subsidized housing. A call he first made in a January 26, 2016 letter to Ca… Continue Reading


Durbin: There is No Excuse for Senate Republicans to Ignore Their Constitutional Responsibility

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As Senate Republicans continue to refuse to give any Supreme Court nominee a fair hearing, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) reminded his colleagues that even when the United States was fully engaged in the Second World War, the Senate moved swiftly to consider and confirm the nomination of Wiley Rutledge to the Supreme Court. "On January 27, 1943, American bombers from the 8th Air Force conducted the first American air raid over Germany. On January 30, Japanese aircraft… Continue Reading


Durbin: Decision to Uphold Gainful Employment Rule is a Win for Students, Families, & Taxpayers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after learning that the Department of Education's gainful employment rule was upheld in a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit to deny an appeal by a national for-profit college trade group. The appeal was brought by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities on behalf of the for-profit college industry. "Rather than fighting standards designed to ensure students are … Continue Reading


Durbin to ITT Tech's Accreditor: What Are You Doing to Protect Students?

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the President and CEO of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools - ITT Tech's accreditor and gateway to federal Title IV funding - what it is doing to protect students and ensure institutional integrity, academic quality and financial stability. In his letter, Durbin cited the long list of concerns, investigations, lawsuits, and other enforcement actions: "ITT Tech is under investigation by at least 18 sta… Continue Reading


Durbin, 23 Senators Call on Appropriators to Fully Fund the President's $1.9 Billion Request to Fight Zika Outbreak

WASHINGTON -As the outbreak of the Zika virus continues to grow, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined with 23 senators today in calling on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to fully fund President Obama's $1.9 billion emergency supplemental request to combat the Zika virus, while simultaneously maintaining the United States' efforts to address other global health priorities, including Ebola. In a letter addressed to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subc… Continue Reading


Legislation to Protect Children in Public Housing from Lead Exposure Introduced in House & Senate

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) today in introducing legislation to protect children in affordable housing from lead poisoning. U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee (D-MI) and Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) are also cosponsoring the House bill. Since the enactment of federal lead policies in the 1990's, lead poisoning rates have fallen dramatically. However, lead poisoning risk c… Continue Reading

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