Press Releases

01.15.11

Durbin Visits Belarus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) spent Friday in Minsk, Belarus, following two days of high-level meetings in Lithuania. Durbin, who was in Lithuania to address that nation's parliament, made a side trip to Belarus following a violent crackdown surrounding presidential elections last month. Last month, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka claimed a fourth term as president - an announcement that was followed by violent confrontations in the capita… Continue Reading


01.14.11

Durbin Announces More Than $770,000 in FEMA Grant Funding to Illinois Fire Departments

[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 grants totaling $773,525 to nine Illinois fire departments. "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 resources possible to do their jobs well, … Continue Reading


01.12.11

Durbin Travels to Lithuania

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) is in Vilnius, Lithuania where he will conduct three days of high-level meetings with Lithuanian officials and address the Lithuanian Parliament. Durbin arrived in Vilnius this morning and will return to the U.S. on Saturday. Durbin, the highest ranking Lithuanian-American in the U.S. government, will address the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament) on Thursday, January 13. Durbin will mark the 20th anniversary of the Day of … Continue Reading


01.11.11

Durbin, Kirk Announce Release of New U.S. EPA Guidelines for Monitoring Chromium 6 in Drinking Water

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has issued guidance on how communities should test for and sample drinking water specifically for Chromium-6. Last month, the agency announced plans to issue this guidance following a meeting in Washington, DC between Administrator Lisa Jackson and ten U.S. Senators including Durbin and Kirk. Also today, Durbin and Kirk received a response from … Continue Reading


01.11.11

Durbin: Illinois Commerce Commission Will Post CN Agreements With Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that, in response to his request to bring more oversight and transparency to Canadian National (CN)'s acquisition of the Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway (EJ&E), the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has agreed to make public the voluntary mitigation agreements CN has with 26 of the 33 affected communities in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Currently, neither CN nor the Surface Board of Transportation has made any of thes… Continue Reading


01.07.11

Durbin Announces Bipartisan Screening Committee for Federal Judges in the Northern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the formation of a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges for the Northern District of Illinois. There are currently three vacant judgeships in the Northern District, and the immediate task of the screening committee is to review applications and make recommendations to Durbin for filling current and future vacancies. The screening committee will be comprised of 10 distinguished Illino… Continue Reading


01.06.11

Durbin Statement on President Obama's Decision to Name Bill Daley as his Chief of Staff

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement after President Obama named former U.S. Commerce Secretary and Chicago-native William M. Daley as his chief of staff. "President Obama has made a fine choice in naming Bill Daley as his chief of staff. I have known Bill Daley for over 35 years and have worked with him in many different capacities here in Washington and back home in Illinois. "Bill has been a successful businessman, public servant a… Continue Reading


01.05.11

Durbin: White House Nominates Myerscough, Shadid and Darrow to Fill Federal Judgeships in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Appellate Court Justice Sue Myerscough, Judge James Shadid and Sara Darrow to fill three vacancies on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. All three were nominated by President Obama last year, but did not complete the Senate confirmation process before the end of the 111th Congress. "All three of the President's nominees are excellent candidates for federal judg… Continue Reading


01.04.11

Durbin's Food Safety Bill Signed Into Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law by President Obama today, marking most comprehensive reform of the nation's food safety system in over decades. The bipartisan bill, authored by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authorities and resources to ensure the safety of our food supply. "With the signing of this bill into law, the FDA finally has the tools it needs to ensure that… Continue Reading


01.04.11

Durbin's Food Safety Legislation To Be Signed Into Law by the President Today

[CHICAGO, IL] - The ability of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect the safety of the nation's food supply will dramatically improve now that Congress has passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. Durbin was joined at a news conference-held the same day the President is expected to sign the bill into law-by Nancy Donley, Board President of Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP) and mother of Alex, who died in 1993 at age six after eating a ha… Continue Reading


01.03.11

Durbin Celebrates President's Signing of 9/11 First Responders Bill

[CHICAGO, IL] - Rescue workers who became ill as a result of breathing in toxic fumes, dust and smoke at ground zero following the September 11 attacks will now receive medical care as a result of legislation just signed into law by the President, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health Compensation Act authorizes the World Trade Center Health Program, which would provide screenings and treatment for World Trade Center-related conditions for people who were in t… Continue Reading


12.23.10

Durbin Asks Treasury, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Protect Consumers from Deceptive Banking Practices, Prepaid Cards

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Elizabeth Warren, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Treasury and the woman tasked with setting up the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, yesterday asking her to protect consumers from attempts to circumvent new regulations by pushing consumers to less regulated products like prepaid debit cards. "It is an unfortunate reality that the big banks and card network giants often try to circ… Continue Reading


12.22.10

Durbin Commends EPA for Swift Action on Chromium-6 Report

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today commended the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taking swift action to provide communities cited in the Environmental Working Group study on chromium-6 in tap water with assistance for additional testing. Earlier today the EPA announced a series of actions that the agency will take over the coming days to address chromium-6 in our drinking water. This announcement follows a meeting in Durbin's Washington, DC, office between Admi… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Durbin Food Safety Bill Passes House, Goes to President for Signature

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act passed the House today marking most comprehensive reform of the nation's food safety system in over a decade. The bipartisan bill, initiated by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), will grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) new authorities and resources to ensure the safety of our food supply. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. "Today's vote will finally give the FDA the tools it needs to he… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Durbin Asks for Increased Transparency in Light of Unprecedented $250,000 Fine Issued Against CN for Violations

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that the Surface Transportation Board issued an unprecedented $250,000 fine against Canadian National (CN) for violations along the recently acquired Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway (EJ&E), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to bring more oversight and transparency to the voluntary agreements CN has with 26 of the 33 affected communities in Illinois and Northwest Indiana. Currently, neither CN nor the Surfa… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Durbin Statement on Auction of Thomson

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the auction of Thomson Correctional Center concluded earlier today. "The federal Bureau of Prisons has informed me that, though they are still completing the necessary reviews of Thomson Correction Center, acquiring the facility is a top priority of the Obama Administration," said Durbin. "I am encouraged that the negotiations between the State of Illinois and that federal government are ongoing. In a… Continue Reading


12.21.10

Durbin: CTA to Receive $1.6 Million for Chicago Western Corridor Rapid Transit Bus Network Project

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) ) today announced that the Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration has awarded a $1,600,000 grant to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to help plan for a bus rapid transit system deployment along the CTA's Western Corridor that will enhance public transportation access and choices for roughly 250,000 residents. "Today's funding will help decrease travel times, improve reliability, and expand public… Continue Reading


12.20.10

Durbin, Kirk to Meet With EPA Administrator Tomorrow to Discuss Tribune Report on Chromium In Chicago Drinking Water

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Stressing the importance of Lake Michigan as a vital resource to the millions of Illinoisans who rely on it for drinking water, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced that they will be meeting with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson tomorrow to discuss their concerns over a Chicago Tribune article on high levels of Chromium-6 in Chicago area drinking water. The Tribune referenced a study by the Environmental Working Group tha… Continue Reading


12.20.10

Durbin Statement on Four Remaining Communities in Competition for FutureGen 2.0

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the FutureGen Alliance announced that four communities - Christian County, Douglas County, Fayette County and Morgan County - will advance to the next stage of the competition to host the FutureGen 2.0 carbon dioxide (CO2) storage site, visitor center, research, and training facilities. The FutureGen 2.0 project and pipeline network is expected to bring 1,000 jobs to downstate Illinois and another 1,000… Continue Reading


12.18.10

Durbin Statement on the Repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the Senate voted to repeal the discriminatory policy known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - the Pentagon's ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military: "It is always a great day in America when discrimination comes to an end. The repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is an important step in America's march toward justice. With the leadership of President Obama and a strong bipartisan … Continue Reading

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