Press Releases


Durbin Visits Food Bank, Says Programs Keeping Families Above Water Must be Protected in Deficit Reduction Negotiations

[URBANA, IL] - With the economic recovery lagging and more than half of American families living paycheck to paycheck, preserving social safety net programs - like food assistance, unemployment benefits and job re-training programs - is more critical than ever, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank. "The struggling economy has put a strain on family budgets throughout Illinois, and more and more people are turning to their local food pantry to put meals … Continue Reading


Senator Durbin and Senator Murray Call on VA to Provide Answers About Privacy, Safety, and Security of Homeless Female Veterans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) sent a joint letter to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Eric Shinseki expressing their concern about the placement of homeless female veterans in unsecure housing in Chicago, which jeopardized their safety. The Senators' letter asks the VA for assurances that homeless female veterans across the country who are being cared for by the Department are h… Continue Reading


At Durbin's Urging, Federal Agencies Devote Additional Resources to Combat Violent Crime in East St. Louis

[EAST ST. LOUIS, IL] - Federal law enforcement agencies have begun committing greater attention and resources to the violent crime problem in East St. Louis, which is among the worst in the nation, but more needs to be done to reduce the violence, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today after meeting with the Working Against Violent Elements (WAVE) Task Force. The task force is a collaboration of federal, state and local agencies which works to combat violent crime in the East St. Louis area… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds DOT Commitment to Common Sense Farm Transportation Guidance

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released new guidance on agriculture transportation. "The decision of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration to release common sense guidelines, with input from Illinois stakeholders, resolves issues faced by farmers and will allow them to go about business without facing burdensome new requirements," Durbin said. … Continue Reading


Durbin Visits Workforce Center, Discusses Need for Critical Support Services

[ELGIN, IL] - With the economic recovery lagging and unemployment still high, access for displaced workers to job retraining and career counseling is more critical than ever, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at the Elgin workNet Center. Although the national unemployment rate dipped slightly during the month of July - down to 9.1 percent - there are still five job-seekers for every job in America. In addition, 6.5 million American workers have been unemployed for six months or long… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks How System That Falsely Reports Deaths of Living Illinoisans Can Be Improved

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Prompted by an August 7 Chicago Sun-Times report, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Michael Astrue, to urge improvement of the Administration's Death Master File which has erroneously reported thousands of Illinoisans dead. Nationwide, 14,000 of these errors - which can cause problems with credit agencies, with lenders and with potential employers - are made each year. "I understand that out of the 2… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $2.3 Million in DOJ Funding to Protect Illinois Youth

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has awarded a total of $2,299,205 to government agencies in Illinois for programs focused on protecting juveniles and promoting child Internet safety. "Today's funding will help combat juvenile delinquency in Illinois and strengthen and improve safeguards for our children against Internet predators," said Durbin. The following Illinois government offices and programs will receiv… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on S&P Downgrade of US Credit Rating

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after the S&P downgraded the US credit rating from AAA to AA+: "S&P's decision to downgrade the US credit rating due to our ongoing debt crisis is unfortunate and underscores the need for a balanced, bipartisan and comprehensive solution to the problem. In the coming weeks, a Joint Committee of Congress will begin its work to reach just such an agreement. Their work will be incredibly important and mus… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Agreement to Extend FAA Authorization

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after an agreement to extend FAA authorization was announced by Senator Reid earlier today: "Extending FAA authorization will put an estimated 74,000 Americans back to work and help keep airports and air operations in Illinois and around the country safe. I support this extension. "Congress' failure to reach a deal to extend FAA authorization before going home this week is no way to run a government. W… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1 Million in Homeless Prevention Grants for Illinois Veterans

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has awarded $1,159,122 in homeless prevention grants to two Illinois organizations that serve homeless and at-risk veteran families. The funding is provided through the new Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. "Last night, in Illinois alone, more than 1,000 homeless veterans were on the street," said Durbin. "We must ensure that when our brave men and women re… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $630,000 FEMA Grant to the Chicago Fire Department

[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 $639,383 in a grant for fire prevention to the Chicago Fire Department. The Chicago Fire Department (CFD) is the second largest fire department in the United States in terms of individual firefighters. "Chicago's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect millions of citizens," Durbin said. "As these bra… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Confirms Rock Island Resident To Fill Federal Judgeship In The Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that late last night the Senate unanimously approved Rock Island resident Sara Darrow for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois. "For too long the Central District of Illinois was operating with only one active status judge in the district - Chief Judge Mike McCuskey - and three judgeships vacant. Now, with Sara Darrow's confirmation, we finally have a full complement of federal jud… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Budget Control Act

Madam President, this is an historic vote and it's one that has involved a lot of emotion and a lot of soul-searching and a lot of hard work. Our leaders are on the floor, Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate -- Senators Reid and McConnell. I want to salute both of them for working so hard to bring us to this moment where we have an opportunity to vote. The House has passed this legislation, so-called Budget Control Act. The Senate will take it up shortly. It is my belief that it will… Continue Reading


Durbin: Even Though Debt Ceiling Compromise Is Not Perfect, I Cannot Let the American Economy Descend into Chaos

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Just before the United States Senate passed the bipartisan debt ceiling extension by a vote of 74-26, U.S Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the United States Senate about why he planned to vote for the compromise even though he disagreed with several portions of the legislation. In the speech, Durbin said that the consequences of defaulting on the nation's debt would be dire and could affect Social Security beneficiaries, the Central Intelligence Agency, and e… Continue Reading


After Durbin Raises Concerns About Melatonin in Baked Goods, FDA Declares "Lazy Cakes" Unsafe

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) praised the decision by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to declare "Lazy Larry" brownies - formerly known as "Lazy Cakes" - unsafe because although the product is marketed as a dietary supplement, it is clearly a conventional food containing the unapproved food additive melatonin. The manufacturer has 15 days to send FDA a response indicating what steps they have taken to correct the violation. Today's announcement comes after Durbi… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Agreement to Raise the Debt Ceiling

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement tonight, after an agreement was reached to raise the nation's debt ceiling and avoid a default on our national debt: "Tonight's agreement prevents a default on our nation's debt and will give our economy the certainty it needs as it continues to recover from a historic recession. This deal is not perfect, nor the deal many of us would have made ourselves, but in the end and after we… Continue Reading


Durbin, Conyers, Welch and Others Introduce Bill to Level the Playing Field for Main Street Retailers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After receiving support from the largest online retailer in the United States - Inc - and Illinois-based Sears Roebuck and Co., U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives, John Conyers (D-MI) and Peter Welch (D-VT) today introduced a bill to allow local Main Street retailers to compete more effectively against out-of-state internet sellers. The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Jack Reed (D- RI) in the Senate and Represen… Continue Reading


Durbin, Cochran Introduce Legislation to Help Organ Transplant Patients

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Scott Brown (R-MA) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act would assist thousands of Americans under the age of 65 who are being cut off from Medicare after 36 months by extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients. Also cosponsoring today… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Ask Airlines to Put Consumers First

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to rising airline ticket rates following a partial Federal Aviation Administration shutdown, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) have sent a letter to Nicholas Calio, President and CEO of the Air Transport Association, calling into question the fare hikes instituted by many airlines. Congressional authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expired on July 22nd, resulting in the shutdown of certain FAA responsibilities and pause i… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks Senate Committee to Delay Flood Insurance Purchase Requirement for Metro East Residents

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the Senate Banking Committee to include in its bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) a provision that would require that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to delay flood insurance purchase requirements for communities - like Metro East, Illinois - already spending significant resources to improve their flood control infrastructure. Recently, the House of Representatives passed its version of … Continue Reading

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