Press Releases


Durbin Chairs Hearing on the Constitutionality of the Health Care Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired the first-ever Congressional hearing examining the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act today, two days after a Florida court ruled the health care law was unconstitutional and hours before the Senate was scheduled to vote on a Republican amendment repealing the landmark reforms. Durbin, one of the law's biggest proponents, argued that the law was constitutional and that legal challenges to the legislation a… Continue Reading


Durbin Provision to Study Partnerships Between Air and Rail Travel Included in FAA Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study ways to increase coordination between air and passenger rail travel is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which is currently being debated by the U.S. Senate. The provision specifically identifies codeshare agreements as one way that airlines and passenger rail providers can bet… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on New Belarusian Sanctions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the State Department announced new sanctions against Belarus and the regime of President Alexander Lukashenka: "I applaud the new, targeted, sanctions and travel restrictions against Lukashenka and those helping to prop up his dictatorship," Durbin said. "Lukashenka should be under no illusions - these sanctions are only the first step. Until all political prisoners are uncon… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on College and University Heads to be "Better Stewards of Taxpayer Dollars"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the leaders of over 300 colleges and universities to become 'better stewards of taxpayer dollars' by doing more to ensure those investments are matched with student achievement. Durbin called on schools to make certain students are completing degrees and gaining useful knowledge, not just piling up mountains of student loan debt. "I'm here to tell you that you cannot afford to stand on the sidelines of this conversation any… Continue Reading


National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Remarks as Prepared by Senator Richard J. Durbin I want to thank Dr. Warrick Carter - the maestro - for that generous introduction, and for his leadership as chairman of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. I also want to acknowledge NAICU chairman Dr. John Bassett, and President David Warren. And welcome all of you, especially my fellow Illinoisans, to Washington. When President Obama said in his State of the Union Address, "This is our generation's S… Continue Reading


Durbin Writes to Governor Quinn About Protecting Illinois Servicemembers from Excessive Mortgage Fees and Foreclosure

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today, pledging to work together to protect Illinois servicemembers from excessive mortgage fees and foreclosure. Recent news reports have raised concerns that servicemembers are being overcharged for the mortgages and foreclosed upon in violation of their legal rights. Durbin asked Quinn to do all that he can to ensure servicemembers are aware of their rights and the resources available to them. "Last … Continue Reading


Durbin: Report Confirms Illinois Families and Businesses Will Save Under Health Care Reform Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirms that, under the new health care reform law, individual families will save on health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs - up to $14,900 annually - and tax credits could save small businesses up to $6 billion over two years. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today cautioned that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would mean higher health care costs for Illinois consumers. "Today's rep… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Senate Foreign Relations Committee

[WASHINGTION, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) will join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the panel convenes for the start of the 112th Congress. "I'm pleased to be joining my colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations committee," Durbin said. "America's engagement overseas is not only critical for our national security, but it is vital to Illinois' economy and status as a crossroads for global business and culture. I look forward to the opportunity … Continue Reading


Kirk and Durbin Co-Sponsor Legislation to Stop Dumping in Great Lakes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a display of bi-partisanship, Illinois' two U.S. senators-Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Dick Durbin-introduced legislation in Congress late last night to protect the Great Lakes from sewage dumping into the lakes. The Great Lakes Water Protection Act would increase fines to up to $100,000 a day per violation by 2031, providing communities 20 years to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities. Currently, fines are capped at $37,500 a day. Money collected from f… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces more than $2 Million in FEMA Grants for Illinois Fire Departments

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded 15 grants totaling $2,009,827 to fire departments throughout Illinois. "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 the… Continue Reading


Durbin Cosponsors Bill to End SUGAR Program and Save Consumers Billions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would phase out the U.S. sugar program which supports artificially high sugar prices, nearly twice the world market price and costs consumers $4 billion a year. The sugar program hurts American workers by driving good jobs overseas; it hurts American consumers by increasing the price of products made with sugar; and it hurts sugar producers by driving down long term demand for their product. "Illino… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a Nearly $3.4 Million FEMA Grant for East St. Louis 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 a $3,362,554 grant to the East St. Louis Fire Department in East St. Louis, Illinois, 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… Continue Reading


Durbin Reaction to President Obama's State of the Union Address 2011

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement in reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address. "This evening, President Obama continued the conversation with the American people that he began in the wake of the Tucson tragedy. It was a message about our future and our need to work together, with respect, to meet our challenges." "And I also hope that the good manners we saw in the Congressional audience tonight will continue when the … Continue Reading


The Bully of Belarus

Mr. President, during the recent 2-week recess, I was invited to speak to the Parliament of the nation of Lithuania in the capital of Vilnius. It was a great honor. This country holds a special place in my family. My mother was born in Lithuania. One hundred years ago this year, my grandmother brought her, her brother, and sister to America. My mother was 2 years old. They landed in Baltimore, and somehow our family found its way to meet up with my grandfather in East St. Louis, IL… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1.2 Million 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 $1,210,088 to six 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


Durbin and Kirk Announce They Will Sit Together at State of the Union

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In the spirit of bipartisanship, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that they will sit side-by-side at the President's State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 25. Traditionally, Members of Congress are split by party affiliation with Democrats and Republicans sitting on opposite sides of the center aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber. "Traditions that divide us were made to be broken," said Durbin. "As we begin to … Continue Reading


Durbin: Repeal of Healthcare Reform Would Have Devastating Impact on Illinois

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] -Millions of Illinoisans are already reaping the benefits of the healthcare reform bill that put American consumers back in charge of their health coverage and medical care and would feel the effects should it be repealed, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. Because of the law, young adults can now stay on their parents' health plans, small business owners are receiving tax credits to help make health insurance more affordable, and people who may have reached a lifetime… Continue Reading


Durbin to Illinois Bankers: Small Banks will Benefit from Interchange Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to three Illinois banking associations today, highlighting a recent announcement that Visa would establish a two-tiered interchange fee system - one for large institutions and one for small institutions. Visa’s announcement means that small banks and credit unions – which were given an exemption from new interchange regulation – will benefit from changes to the interchange system. The letter, addressed to … Continue Reading


Durbin: $1.2 billion in Prescription Drug Savings for Illinois Seniors in Jeopardy

[WASHINGTON, D.C,] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released county by county numbers showing that the newly implemented Medicare "donut hole" fix will put over $1.2 billion back in the hands of Illinois seniors over the next ten years. Across the country, seniors who have high prescription drug spending will save as much as $12,300 over the next ten years and seniors with low drug costs will save an average of $2,400 over ten years. This week, a vote expected in the U.S. House of Representativ… Continue Reading


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

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