Press Releases

06.04.09

Durbin Introduces Bill to Aid Reforestation Efforts in Haiti

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today to aid reforestation efforts in Haiti. 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 abject poverty. The Haiti Reforestation Act seeks to end the rapid and near total deforestation of the island-nation and restore Haiti's n… Continue Reading


06.03.09

Durbin, Quinn, Daley Call on Midwest Governors to Increase Efforts to Secure High Speed Rail Funding

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn joined Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in calling on seven Midwestern Governors to increase their efforts and regional coordination on high speed rail through a regional Rail Summit held in Chicago - the Midwest rail system's hub - this summer. Today's announcement followed a meeting between Durbin and Quinn where they also discussed moving forward with Illinois's bid for the $8 billion availa… Continue Reading


06.03.09

Durbin, Quigley Commend EPA for Swift Action to End BP Violations

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) today spoke with EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson regarding yesterday's decision by the Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 to cite BP for alleged Clean Air Act violations at its Whiting refinery. "For years, I have worked with members of the Illinois Delegation to shed a light on the companies like BP that have operated without concern for the protection of one of our nation's … Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin Announces $5.9 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Illinois Floodplain Easement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $5,946,931 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for floodplain easement in Illinois. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s floodplain easement program allows for the acquisition of private, local government or state owned lands that have been damaged by flooding at least once in the last 12 months or twice in the past 10 years. Once the easements have been established,… Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin and Illinois Delegation Urge President Obama to Provide Federal Assistance to Illinois Counties Affected by Severe Storms

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) led members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation today in asking President Obama to provide request for federal assistance for six counties in southern Illinois as a result of severe storms in May. Preliminary Damage Assessments have indicated that more than 260 homes sustained major damage during the storms. Governor Quinn has already declared these counties - Franklin, Gallatin, Jackson, Saline, Randolph, and Williamson… Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin: University of Illinois Will Receive a Nearly $300,000 Grant for Aquatic Research

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded $299,744 in federal grant funding to the University of Illinois to support the research, extension and outreach activities of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program (IISG). The IISG is one of 32 programs constituting the National Sea Grant network which is dedicated to promoting the wise use of coastal, ocean, a… Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin Statement on Meeting with Supreme Court Nominee Sotomayor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement today after meeting with Supreme Court nominee, Judge Sonia Sotomayor: "Judge Sotomayor has an impressive life story. She came up the hard way and excelled as a student at Princeton. Her experience as a prosecutor and years on the federal bench have prepared her well for this historic opportunity." In addition to being a member of Senate leadership, Durbin serves on the Senate Judiciary … Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin Announces Nearly $16 Million in DOT Funding for Illinois Airports

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $15,978,467 in grants to five Illinois airports. "Today's grants will allow airports in Illinois make needed improvements and upgrades to help them serve travelers more safely and efficiently," said Durbin. "These important projects will also create good paying jobs throughout Illinois during the current construction season." The following airports will receive … Continue Reading


06.02.09

Durbin Holds Budget Hearing on Financial Market Oversight

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today chaired a hearing which reviewed the funding requests of the nation's primary financial market regulators - the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Today's hearing was held in Durbin's Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler were witnesses. "After high profile cases of fr… Continue Reading


05.26.09

Durbin Statement on Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement regarding the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court. "President Obama has made an outstanding and historic choice in his selection of New York Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the Supreme Court. Her compelling life story and three decade career in nearly every aspect of the law provide Judge Sotomayor with unique qualifications to be the next Supreme Cou… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Durbin Introduces Bill Requiring Universities to Offer Voter Registration to Students

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced a bill today to require all colleges and universities that receive federal funds to offer voter registration services to students. The bill, the Student Voter Opportunity to Encourage Registration Act of 2009, or Student VOTER Act, would designate federally funded colleges and universities as voter registration agencies, much like state departments of motor vehicles. The bill's aim is to reverse a decades-long tr… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Durbin and Burr Introduce Bipartisan Medical Homes Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the bipartisan Medical Homes Act this week to improve health care quality by helping states implement patient-centered medical home programs under Medicaid and SCHIP. "At a time when both health care costs and chronic illnesses are on the rise, we need a better way to provide care that is accessible, comprehensive and cost-effective," said Durbin. "The medical homes concept -co… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Durbin Introduces Bill to Boost College Enrollment for Low-Income Students

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Congressmen Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Vern Ehlers (R-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation today to help improve college access for low-income students. The Pathways to College Act would create a competitive grant program to help low-income school districts implement programs designed to increase the number of students who are entering and succeeding in college. "When schools focus on college … Continue Reading


05.21.09

Durbin Resumes Leadership of Human Rights Subcommittee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement today after Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT) restored the Human Rights Subcommittee and named Durbin as its Chairman: "After offering my Crime and Drugs Subcommittee gavel to Senator Specter, I asked Senator Leahy to reestablish the Human Rights and the Law Subcommittee. Today that subcommittee has been reconstituted, allowing us to continue working on some of the… Continue Reading


05.21.09

Durbin, Matsui Introduce Bill to Increase Public Health Workforce

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Congresswoman Doris Matsui today in introducing the Public Health Workforce Act of 2009. This legislation aims to increase the pipeline of qualified public health workers at the federal, state, local and tribal levels by offering scholarships to students going into the public health field. It also encourages current employees to stay in the public health field by providing loan repayments in exchange for a commitment… Continue Reading


05.20.09

Durbin Announces $2 Million in Funding for Chicago O'Hare Airport

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded a $2 million grant to the city of Chicago for O'Hare International Airport. Today's funding will be used to rehabilitate an already existing runway at the airport in order to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration's annual runway inspections.… Continue Reading


05.20.09

Durbin Meets with Northern Illinois Officials to Discuss Passenger Rail to Rockford

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with several communities leaders from Winnebago, Stephenson and Boone Counties to discuss the proposed Chicago-Rockford-Dubuque Amtrak route as part of the group's annual trip to Washington. Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) attended today's meeting which included the following officials: Mayor of Rockford, Larry Morrissey; Mayor of Freeport, George Gaulrapp; and Mayor of Belvidere, Fred Brereton. "The officials I… Continue Reading


05.20.09

Durbin: Chrysler's Difficult Decision Will Bring Belvidere Plant Back Online

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after learning of Chrysler's plan to bring the Belvidere Assembly Plant and Belvidere Satellite Stamping Plant back online. "The latest decision by Chrysler was not easy. In choosing to bring the Belvidere plant back online, Chrysler had to reduce its workforce and cut local, good-paying jobs. "The nearly 1,000 workers who will lose their job over the next two months will face the … Continue Reading


05.20.09

Durbin: Duckworth Sworn in as VA Assistant Secretary

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Earlier today at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Tammy Duckworth was publicly sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) honored the Iraq War veteran during this morning's ceremony in the Military Advanced Training Center (rehabilitation clinic) at Walter Reed. The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki was also in attendance. Text of Durbin's… Continue Reading


05.19.09

Durbin Announces $6 Million in Recovery Act Funding for O'Hare Noise Mitigation

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $6,000,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the City of Chicago for noise mitigation measures at public buildings near Chicago O'Hare International Airport. This grant will fund sound proofing efforts - including acoustic window unit, ceiling, vestibule and doorway installment, mechanical and electrical system revision and existing soundp… Continue Reading

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