Press Releases


Durbin: Omnibus Appropriations Bill Invests $500 Million in Priority Transportation & Infrastructure Projects

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 includes $500 million for investments in priority transportation projects through the competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant Program. Illinois has been the second largest beneficiary of TIGER funding across the country, receiving nearly $290 million since the popular program was created in 2009. "Illinois lies at the heart … Continue Reading


Durbin's Cures Act Sets Standard for Increased Biomedical Research Funding in Omnibus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 dramatically increases overall funding for breakthrough scientific and biomedical research based on targeted funding levels set by Durbin's American Cures Act. In total, the bill includes nearly $42 billion in funding to support the research at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Defense Health Program, and the Veterans … Continue Reading


Durbin, Bustos: Continued Funding for Prison Activation in Omnibus Appropriations Bill is More Good News for Jobs, Economic Development in the Quad Cities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today announced that the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 includes a level of funding for Bureau of Prisons that will allow for continued funding for the activation of the Thomson correctional facility in Thomson, Illinois. Though today's bill does not detail how this funding will be spent, Durbin and Bustos expressed confidence that the funding for the Thomson facility's activation … Continue Reading


Durbin: Omnibus Appropriations Bill Funds Innovation & Research At Argonne National Lab & Fermilab

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016, which was introduced late last night, preserves essential federal funding for scientific research and development programs that support work at both Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. Together, Argonne and Fermilab employ roughly 5,150 Illinoisans. The bill must now be voted on by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by President Obama. "Today's legis… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Agrees to Fund Great Lakes Restoration Initiative at 300 Million

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the inclusion of $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 will support ongoing efforts to protect the Great Lakes including: combating invasive species, particularly Asian Carp; reducing and removing pollution, waste run-off and toxic chemicals; and restoring wetlands and other lakefront assets. The bill, which was introduced in the House … Continue Reading


Durbin: Defense Appropriations Bill Invests in Groundbreaking Research & Protects Illinois Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill - which provides $572.8 billion in funding for the military and intelligence community, our national security requirements and the daily needs of over two million active duty and reserve servicemembers - funds Illinois defense installations and protects important Illinois priorities. The legislation was … Continue Reading


Durbin Appeals to Pope Francis Regarding Dominican Cardinal's Hostile Statements Against Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today sent a letter to Pope Francis regarding Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and the United States Ambassador to that country, Wally Brewster. Cardinal Rodriguez has been openly hostile in public remarks and even helped organize a protest against Ambassador Brewster, who is openly gay. "The Church's teachings on gay marriage are well known, but the Church also teaches us to … Continue Reading


Durbin: Anti-Muslim Bigotry Has No Place in America

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After attending an interfaith peace vigil last night at the Islamic Society of Springfield, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to commend Springfield's faith and community leaders for joining together to speak out against inflammatory rhetoric directed at refugees and Muslims. In his remarks, Durbin also condemned a recent increase in hate crimes and other anti-Muslim bigotry and praised his Senate colleague, U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for sh… Continue Reading


Durbin Pays Tribute to Fallen Chicago Firefighter, Daniel Capuano, On Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to honor the service and sacrifice of Chicago Firefighter Daniel Capuano, who died early this morning in a warehouse fire on the South Side of Chicago. "Daniel Capuano went to work this morning, just like he has done every day for the past fifteen years - ready to fight fires and save lives. Not many people can say they've woken up every day ready to sacrifice their life to protect their community. But thi… Continue Reading


Durbin Leads Illinois Members in Registering Concern with Oversight Agency Over Proposed Freight Merger

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to a proposed merger between two of Illinois' rail operators - Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a letter to the Surface Transportation Board urging the agency to carefully consider the potential negative impact of the proposal on Illinois' freight network. In their letter, the Members requested careful review of the possible effects of CP's proposed acquisition of NS on Illinois communities … Continue Reading


Durbin: Failed Westwood College Should Not Be Allowed to Sell Campuses to Other For-Profit College Systems Under Investigation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Department of Education to prevent failed Westwood College campuses - including four in Illinois - from being sold to other for-profit college systems that are under investigation by local, state or federal agencies. Recently, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan settled a lawsuit with the company for $15 million after finding that Westwood was lying to students about its criminal justice program. "As I understand… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Historic Paris Climate Agreement

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the President announced that a historic deal to combat climate change had been reached tonight in Paris: This is a momentous agreement for all of us here on planet Earth, but even more importantly for our children and our children's children. The threats posed by climate change have been linked to drought, food shortages, severe and dangerous storms, poverty, and even terrorism. Committing to reducing carbon… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on Gov. Rauner to Take State Action to Close Loophole That Allows Suspected Terrorists to Buy Guns

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today sent a letter calling on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to take action at the state level to close a dangerous loophole in law that allows suspected terrorists to purchase guns in Illinois: "The horrific terror attacks in Paris, Colorado Springs, and San Bernardino have given new urgency to the need to close dangerous loopholes in our laws that allow would-be terrorists to buy guns. The highest priority for both the Governor and I is to kee… Continue Reading


Senate Approves Bill to Child-Proof Liquid Nicotine Bottles

[WASHINGON, D.C.] - The Senate last night approved a measure to require manufacturers to put child-proof caps on the small bottles of liquid nicotine available for purchase in stores across the country. It's the first time the Senate has taken up and passed a bill aimed at regulating liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes and other vaping devices. "There is a word for the toxic candy-flavored liquids found in electronic cigarettes: poison. Just this week, a study found that a chemical … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Local Education Leaders to Discuss Overhaul of No Child Left Behind

SPRINGFIELD, IL - A day after President Obama signed the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Springfield Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Gill, representatives from the Illinois Education Association and Illinois Federation of Teachers, and other educators to discuss the new education law that will overhaul No Child Left Behind. The Every Student Succeeds Act provides a more flexible approach to student testing and school accountability. … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces New Cybersucirty Team to be Headquartered in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, announced today that the Illinois National Guard will be leading a new cyber protection team. The 39-person unit will be a joint mission with the Wisconsin National Guard and headquartered in Illinois. "This new squadron gives the Illinois National Guard a leading role in supporting our national cybersecurity operations, which are critically important to our homeland securit… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Passage of Bill that Promotes Student Success & Replaces No Child Left Behind

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded Senate passage of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act Conference Report - a bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and replace No Child Left Behind. The legislation passed the House of Representatives last week and will now go to President Obama for his signature. "This bill is more directly tied to the future prosperity of the United States than virtually any other issue we face here in Co… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Amtrak Board Member Tom Carper to Discuss Passenger Rail in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following Congressional passage of a four-year reauthorization of Amtrak, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with former Mayor of Macomb, Illinois and current member of the Amtrak Board of Directors, Tom Carper, to discuss the importance of Illinois' passenger rail network. A photo of today's meeting is available here. "As a longtime Amtrak Board Member and the former Mayor of Macomb, which sits along Amtrak's Illinois Zephyr and Carl Sandburg lines, Tom Carper … Continue Reading


ICYMI: Durbin Challenges For-Profit Colleges to Explain Why They Account for 40% of Student Loan Defaults by Only Educate 10% of Students

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a speech on the Senate floor today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) challenged the for-profit college industry to explain how they can account for 40% of student loan defaults but only educate 10% of students and only 20% of federal student aid. "The Department of Education has developed responsible criteria for determining whether career education programs adequately prepare their students for "gainful employment" as is required by law. The Gainful Employment Rul… Continue Reading


Durbin: Inflammatory, Hateful Rhetoric Does Not Reflect Who We Are as Americans

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Amid statements and inflammatory rhetoric that unfairly vilify billions of Muslims, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to call for thoughtfulness and tolerance that reflect the "fundamental values of this country." Today, Durbin was also joined by Bishop Sally Dyck of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church at a press conference to speak out against inflammatory rhetoric directed at refugees and Muslims. "I've met some… Continue Reading

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