Press Releases

03.10.11

Durbin Responds to OCC Chief on Interchange, Meets with Small Business About Benefits of Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, John Walsh, yesterday, in response to his recent comments about interchange reform. Durbin's letter corrected the record about what the new interchange law will and won't do, and urged the Acting Comptroller to study up on the new law and its benefits to consumers and small businesses. "I write regarding the comments that you submitted on March 4 to the Federal Re… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Durbin Statement on HELP Committee Hearing Investigating For-Profit Colleges

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today submitted a statement for the record at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Bridgepoint Education, Inc, a for-profit college company. In his statement, Durbin focused on accreditation agencies which, he says, serve as the gateway to federal funding. "As Congress works to reduce the federal deficit, we are appropriately scrutinizing federal spending," Durbin said. "W… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Durbin Meets With Quad Cities Chamber and Labor Leaders to Discuss Regional Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with leaders from the Quad Cities region who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in to discuss their priorities including Rock Island Arsenal, Amtrak service to the Quad Cities and economic recovery. Durbin asked for the group's help in opposing H.R.1 funding cuts that eliminate all unobligated funding for current and future high speed rail projects. "The Quad Cities region does a great job of coming together across party… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Swipe Fee Reform

Last year, Congress enacted landmark reform of the swipe fees that Visa and MasterCard impose on the debit card system. An amendment I offered to Wall Street reform passed the Senate with 64 votes--47 Democrats, 17 Republicans--and was later signed into law. It was the first amendment out of the first 26 on that bill that was held to a 60-vote standard. Every other amendment before was held to a simple majority. But I was lucky enough, when I offered the amendment, that there was an insistence t… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Durbin Announces More Than $250,000 in FEMA Grants to Will and Kankakee Counties Firefighters

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $263,966 in grants to fire departments in Will and Kankakee Counties for hiring initiatives aimed at increasing the number of frontline firefighters. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way, we m… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Durbin Announces a More Than $60,000 FEMA Grant to Madison Firefighters

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $60,130 in a grant for operations and safety to the Madison Fire Department. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do thei… Continue Reading


03.10.11

Durbin Announces a More Than $80,000 FEMA Grant to Springfield Firefighters

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded $81,020 in a grant for operations and safety to the Springfield Fire Department. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do … Continue Reading


03.09.11

House Republican Budget Cuts

Madam President, I wish to follow up on what was said by the majority leader. This exercise we are engaged in here, this conversation about how to finish this fiscal year which ends on October 1, is one that I think has gotten out of hand, and I will tell you why. I know the debt is a serious problem facing America. I know the deficit is something that threatens our economy and our way of living. I also know there are sensible, thoughtful ways to deal with it. One of them was addressed by… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin asks Department of Defense to Step up Efforts to Protect Servicemembers from Poor-Performing Colleges and Abusive Recruiting

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In light of a recent GAO Report that found that the Department of Defense (DOD) lacks basic oversight mechanisms of the Tuition Assistance program, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to do more to protect students and taxpayers from the worst excesses of the for-profit industry. According to the study, less than a third of the courses offered to military members have been reviewed. "I understand that you have begun … Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Calls on VA to Take More Aggressive Steps to Identify Colleges Abusing the GI Bill Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take more aggressive steps to identify colleges and universities that have taken advantage of GI Bill benefits and to remove them from the program. Specifically, Durbin asked the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, to look into the fourteen other Westwood College campuses including the four that are located in Illinois. "It is appropriate to cut off federal funding from colleges e… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Welcomes East Moline Mayor as Special Guest to the Joint Session of Congress

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the Mayor of East Moline, John Thodos, as his guest to an address by the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard to a joint session of Congress. Durbin, a member of the Senate Escort Committee, met with his guest prior to the joint session to discuss the importance of protecting the $240 million in federal funding to build a new rail line connecting Chicago to the Quad Cities and a new, energy efficient, multimodal station. … Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin Meets With Champaign County First to Discuss Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Champaign County FIRST to discuss local priorities including transportation, local school improvements and high speed rail. Durbin asked for the group's help in opposing H.R.1 funding cuts that eliminate all unobligated funding for current and future high speed rail projects. The Champaign County FIRST committee serves as the unified voice of Champaign County to elected officials on the state and federal leve… Continue Reading


03.09.11

Durbin, Lieberman, Lead Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Political Oppression in Belarus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) introduced a resolution today, condemning recent Belarusian elections as illegitimate and calling on the Belarusian regime to immediately release all political prisoners. The resolution also calls for expansion of the list of Belarusian officials who are subject to U.S. and European Union travel and financial sanctions, new elections in Belarus that meet international standards, expanded EU … Continue Reading


03.08.11

Durbin Op-Ed: College Tuition Tax Credit Offers up to $2,500 Per Year

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today submitted the following opinion piece for publication to Illinois College and University newspapers. Durbin has been working to spread the word about the availability of the American Opportunity Tax Credit which can save students and their families up to $2,500 per year on college tuition and expenses. In 2009, eligible Illinois families failed to claim $1 billion in the tax credit. College Tuition Tax Credit Offers Up To $2,500 pe… Continue Reading


03.08.11

College Tuition Tax Credit Offers Up To $2,500 per Year

President Obama and Congress have taken steps to help students and their families pay for a good college education. However, fewer than half of eligible families have taken advantage of it. If you or your parents haven't claimed the American Opportunity Tax Credit, there is still time. Over the last 5 years, the combined cost of tuition, fees, room and board at four-year public colleges and universities increased by 42% - far outpacing inflation and increases in household income. And wit… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Central District Judge Confirmation

Mr. President, I rise in support of two of the nominees. I will vote for all three, but I rise in support of two of the nominees--Sue Myerscough and James Shadid for the Central District of Illinois. These are nominees whom I presented to the President and who passed through the review not only by the White House but also by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now come before us today to be considered by the Senate. This day has come not a moment too soon for the Central District of Illino… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Tyrants can use Facebook, too

There has been much talk lately about the "Facebook revolution" in the Middle East. But the rhetoric oversimplifies a more complicated reality. The Internet has helped activists from Morocco to Iran organize demonstrations and publicize human rights abuses. The world had a front-row seat at the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions thanks to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This publicity likely helped restrain government crackdowns on protesters. While the mainstream media has limited acces… Continue Reading


03.07.11

Durbin: Senate Confirms Myerscough and Shadid to Fill Federal Judgeships in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate has unanimously approved Sue Myerscough and James Shadid for federal judgeships on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. Prior to the vote, Durbin spoke in favor of the two nominees on the Senate floor. "This day has come not a moment too soon for the Central District of Illinois," said Durbin. "Since last August, the Central District of Illinois has had only one federal district c… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Durbin, Kirk, Manzullo Express Concern Over Post Office Consolidation

WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to the Postmaster General, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) today expressed concern about the United States Postal Service's plan to conduct a study examining the possibility of moving operations performed at the Rockford Processing and Distribution Facility to the Postal Service's Carol Stream facility. "We write to express our concerns about the proposed consolidation, which could have a negative… Continue Reading


03.04.11

Durbin Requests DOT Review On Air Traffic Controller Errors at O’Hare

WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following a Chicago Tribune report on an increase in air traffic controller errors at O'Hare International Airport, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct an immediate review of how controller training duties and practices have affected the increased number of mistakes at O'Hare. The Tribune has reported that operational errors have doubled from six to 17 over the past year. Durbin also asked the DOT to provide inform… Continue Reading

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