Press Releases

03.18.09

Durbin Announces Over $3.7 Million to Provide Meals to Illinois Seniors

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $3,770,526 in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide meals to thousands of low-income seniors in need. Today's funding will also assist communities and the national aging services network in restoring nutrition services that have been cut and restoring positions which may have been eliminated or reduced. The funding is distributed as follows: • … Continue Reading


03.17.09

Renewing American Leadership on the Global Water Crisis

Remarks by Senator Richard J. Durbin Renewing American Leadership on the Global Water Crisis To the Center for Strategic and International Studies Russell Caucus Room, United States Senate March 17, 2009 **as prepared for delivery** I want to thank John Hamre for that generous introduction, and thank my friend, Congressman Earl Blumenauer for his inspiring leadership in our efforts to bring clean water and basic sanitation to the world. Congressman Blumenauer was the Ho… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Feingold-Reid-Durbin Bill to End Automatic Congressional Pay Raises Passes the Senate

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bill to discontinue the practice of automatic pay raises for Members of Congress was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate today. The bill was written by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and cosponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL). The bill would permanently end the automatic cost of living adjustment, and instead require Members of Congress to vote for or against all future salary adjustments. The Consti… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Durbin, Cochran, Space and Bilirakis Introduce Legislation to Expand Congenital Heart Disease Research

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined with Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Representatives Zack Space (D-OH) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) to introduce bipartisan legislation that increases awareness, education and research into congenital heart disease - a rapidly growing national health problem. The Congenital Heart Futures Act aims to prevent premature death and disability and increase the quality of life for the nearly 1.8 million people in the Unit… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Durbin Statement on New U.S.-Mexico Border Security Policy

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement in response to the Obama Administration's announcement of a new U.S.-Mexico border security policy: "I commend the Obama Administration for their comprehensive approach to tackling the problem of Mexican drug cartels. With more than 7,000 murders since January 2008, and cartels operating in some 230 American cities - including in Chicago, Joliet and East St. Louis, Illinois - Mexican… Continue Reading


03.17.09

Durbin: Water Crisis a "Mortal and Long-Term Threat" to Global Health, Stability

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivered remarks on the global water crisis today and introduced legislation to dramatically improve access to clean water and sanitation. "Access to safe drinking water is a right that everyone in the world ought to enjoy but too few are able to realize," Durbin said. "Water access is no longer simply a global health and development issue; it is a mortal and long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national se… Continue Reading


03.13.09

Durbin Announces $2 Million for Statewide Teacher Training Initiative

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said today that the omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Obama this week includes at least $2 million for the Teaching with Primary Sources program in Illinois. Durbin said the $2 million will come from the Library of Congress for continuation of teacher training initiatives in Illinois. Teaching with Primary Sources is a teacher training initiative that instructs educator… Continue Reading


03.11.09

Durbin: Congress Approves More than $6.5 Million in Federal Funding for Asian Carp Barrier

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Congress has approved $6.537 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to continue operation and construction on the Asian Carp Barrier project. The Omnibus Appropriations Act included funding for the barrier project which will prevent the spread of invasive species, including Asian Carp, between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. "The Asian Carp th… Continue Reading


03.11.09

Durbin: Congress Approves $34.6 Million to Prevent Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Congress has approved $34,625,000 for nationwide efforts to combat and prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Additionally, the Omnibus Appropriations Act includes special language directing the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to work collaboratively with the City of Chicago to manage the infestation and provide appropriate resources. "Emerald Ash … Continue Reading


03.11.09

Durbin Reaction to Reports of $500 Million Error in FutureGen Cost Estimate

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after recent news that a Government Accountability Office report found the Department of Energy made a half-billion dollar error in its estimate of the total cost for the FutureGen project. "After five years of competition and preparation, the Department of Energy walked away from FutureGen in January of last year citing escalating costs. Despite that, the Illinois Delegation, leaders in… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Congress Gives Approval to Nearly $230 Million in Funding for Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the Omnibus Appropriations Act that was approved today by Congress includes $229,727,154 in funding for Illinois projects. SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS: CHICAGO TRANSIT ($36 MILLION): Today's legislation includes over $36 million in funding to create a new transit line, the Circle line, in Chicago and expand transit service along the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Ravens… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Durbin Meets with Albany Park Neighborhood Council to Discuss the Impact of Foreclosures in Cook County

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Albany Park Neighborhood Council to discuss the impact of foreclosed properties on Cook County. In 2008, there were 20,000 mortgage foreclosure cases filed in Cook County. In just two years, foreclosure evictions have nearly tripled from 1,771 evictions in 2006, to nearly 4,500 in 2008. Durbin explained to the Council that one of his top legislative priorities of the year is the passage of his Helping… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Durbin, Members of House and Senate Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers from Unfair Credit Practices

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today to create the Financial Product Safety Commission - a single government agency in charge of ensuring that the offering of financial products to consumers is responsible, accountable, and transparent. Joining Durbin as cosponsors were Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Brad Miller (D-NC). "It's time to put the needs of America… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Durbin: Senate Approves Funding for Keith Creek Feasibility Study

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations has approved $526,000 to continue and complete a feasibility study of the work needed to provide reliable flood protection along Keith Creek. The Keith Creek feasibility study will determine what steps need to be taken by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Rockford to prevent future flood damage to homes and businesses. Durbin has worked closely with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on this … Continue Reading


03.10.09

Durbin, Cochran Introduce Legislation to Help Organ Transplant Patients

[Washington, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Transplant Patients Act would assist thousands of Americans under the age of 65 who are being cut off from Medicare payments for drug therapy after 36 months by extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients.… Continue Reading


03.10.09

Durbin: Congress Approves Legislation Allowing Reservists Who Are Federal Employees to Receive Full Salary

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Congress' approval of his provision to help federal employees in the National Guard and Reserves avoid a loss of income when they are called to active military duty. Durbin first introduced legislation in 2001 - the Reservist Pay Security Act - to ensure that our brave men and women are paid the equivalent of their full civilian salary while they have been called to active mil… Continue Reading


03.06.09

Durbin Announces Distribution of More Than $83 Million in Byrne Grants for Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the distribution of $83,663,470 in Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to seven Illinois communities and the state of Illinois. These funds are part of the $2 billion in funding available nationwide under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Byrne grants are often used by state and local governments for programs dealing with drug prevention and enforcement, law enforcement information sharing, and combating g… Continue Reading


03.06.09

Durbin and Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Support to Families of Severely Disabled Veterans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation to provide essential support services to family caregivers of severely disabled veterans. The Veteran and Servicemember Family Caregiver Support Act of 2009 establishes a program to provide technical, financial and practical support to family caregivers of veterans or members of the Armed Forces seriously injured in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. Durbin introduced … Continue Reading


03.05.09

Statement of Sen. Dick Durbin Regarding IRS Decision Not to Renew Contracts with Private Debt Collectors

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The Senate's Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) tonight issued the following statement regarding the announcement by the IRS that they will not continue the program to outsource tax debt collection: "The collection of federal taxes is a core government function. Until private debt collectors can prove they can do the job better, do it more efficiently and do it at a lower cost than the IRS, there is no reason we should continue this program. "The bottom lin… Continue Reading


03.05.09

Durbin Announces More Than $467 Million in DOT Grants for Illinois Transit

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made $467,537,681 in grants available to the state of Illinois under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Today's funding is part of the $7.4 billion in DOT grants for transit projects nationwide. Additionally, Illinois will be eligible to compete for $100 million in grants will be available to public transit agencies nationwide for capital investments to help reduce the… Continue Reading

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