Press Releases


Durbin Meets with CDC Director to Discuss Urgent Need for Congress to Pass Zika Funding

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to discuss the agency's efforts to combat the spread of the Zika virus and the immediate need for increased funding. Durbin expressed concern about how congressional Republicans' refusal to pass a bipartisan emergency funding bill is hindering the CDC's ability to respond to this public health threat. To date, 3,667 people in the United States, includi… Continue Reading


In Wake of Recent Violence & Upheaval, Durbin Calls for Action on Criminal Justice Reform

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the floor of the Senate to call on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule a vote on the Senate's bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act. In the wake of recent violence and upheaval across the country, Durbin, who was joined by his co-authors, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Mike Lee (R-UT), called for action on the bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation as a step toward justice and reconcilia… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with DHS Secretary & White House Chief of Staff to Discuss Central American Refugee Crisis

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to discuss America's response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. During the meeting, Durbin expressed concerns over current policy classifying refugee women and children from Central America as immigration enforcement priorities due to their date of arrival in the United States. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben C… Continue Reading


Durbin: It's Time for Republicans to Do Their Job & Fund the Zika Crisis Before Seven-Week Break

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor to call on Senate Republican leaders to pass a compromise bill to combat Zika before Congress enters a seven week recess. Senator Durbin blasted Republicans for conditioning emergency funding on defunding Planned Parenthood and drastic cuts to Americans' health care. "I spent the last several weeks meeting with maternal and fetal health care providers and community health leaders, and they have shared with me the fear an… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1.3 Million to Support Seasonal Farmworkers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Labor will award the Illinois Migrant Council $1,393,708 to provide job training and housing assistance to seasonal farmworkers and their families. Today's funding will help agricultural workers in Illinois attain employment stability, learn new skills, and gain better housing options. A total of $81 million in funding was awarded nationwide under the Department of Labor's National Farmworker Jobs Program. … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Recent Shootings

EAST ST LOUIS-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on the shootings of five police officers in Dallas, Texas, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcone Heights, Minnesota: The tragedy in Dallas reminds us of the selfless sacrifice our men and women in law enforcement make every day. My heart goes out to the families who lost a policeman and my prayers to all who are recovering from this vicious attack. Those who try to exploit this… Continue Reading


Durbin, Bustos Announce More Than $1.7 Million for Peoria International Airport

EAST ST LOUIS - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $1,742,290 for improvements at General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport in Peoria, Illinois. Today's announcement will fund the rehabilitation of the airport's apron and builds on more than $1.6 million in funding provided last year. "This critical investment will help improve safety and efficiency for travelers flying i… Continue Reading


Durbin, Menendez Urge EPA to Toughen Lead Hazard Standards

WASHINGTON - With reports of children exposed to dangerous levels of lead on the rise across the country, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update its lead hazard standards in an effort to protect children from dangerous lead exposure. In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, the senators expressed concern that current standards are outdated and do not adequately protect children from lead poisoning, which… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on GMO Labeling Bill

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on legislation that prohibits states from mandating labels on foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and exempts many foods from being labeled as genetically modified: The idea that people would need to walk around the grocery store scanning product codes just to find out what's in the food they're buying is ridiculous and unfair. Food companies should not be able to hide behind confusing coded label… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Resignation of Anti-LGBT Dominican Cardinal

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement on reports of the resignation of Cardinal Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez of the Archdiocese of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Last December, Senator Durbin sent a letter to Pope Francis regarding hostile, anti-LGBT statements made by Cardinal López against U.S. Ambassador Wally Brewster, who is openly gay. "Intolerance and bigotry have no place in the modern world, and the… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Announcement of Scheduled Flights to Cuba

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today applauded a proposal by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to select eight U.S. airlines to begin scheduled flights between ten cities in the United States and Cuba. "Reopening travel relations with Cuba is about more than just restoring the freedom to travel there for all Americans-it's about opening Cuba to new ideas, new values, and improved human rights that our 50 year old policy of isolation could not achieve," said Durbin. "This i… Continue Reading


Durbin Hosts Illinois Members at Bipartisan Delegation Luncheon

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today hosted members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation at the bipartisan Illinois Congressional Delegation Luncheon. Started by the late U.S. Senator Alan J. Dixon, the Illinois Delegation Luncheon has been held regularly in Washington, DC at no expense to the federal taxpayer for more than 25 years. A photo of today's luncheon is available here. The luncheon today was attended by seven members of the Illinois Congressional Delegati… Continue Reading


Durbin, Murphy, Shaheen, Boxer, Kaine Urge President to Make U.S. Support for Ukraine a Focus of Upcoming NATO Summit

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), and Tim Kaine (D-VA) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama, urging him to carry a message to world leaders at the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Warsaw, Poland: success in Ukraine and resistance to Russian aggression are in the best interest of all NATO member counties. "You have been a strong champion of ensuring Ukraine's future as a democrati… Continue Reading


Durbin Honors Abner Mikva on Senate Floor

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate floor today honoring former Illinois Congressman and Chief Judge for the U.S Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit Abner Mikva, who passed away on Monday at the age of 90. "I'm very proud to join the many other people who have stood up and acknowledged the amazing contributions that have been made by Abner Mikva. I am particularly honored to have counted him as a friend. So many times, he would give me a call of e… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges DEA Administrator to Improve Opioid Quota Setting

WASHINGTON - U.S Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to talk about the agency's role in the fight against opioid addiction. The DEA is responsible for establishing annual quotas determining the exact amount of each opioid drug that is permitted to be produced in the United States each year. During the meeting, Senator Durbin urged the DEA to use their existing authority to reduce the amount of opioid pills allowed t… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for Vote This Week on Clean Emergency Funding Bill to Combat Zika Virus

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with maternal fetal medicine, infectious disease, and public health specialists to discuss the growing threat posed by the Zika virus. More than four months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) requested emergency funding to develop a vaccine and fight the spread of the deadly virus, but after months of delay from Congressional Republicans, not one dollar of additional funding has… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $16.7 Million for Head Start & Early Head Start

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families has awarded Illinois Head Start and Early Head Start providers grants totaling $16,791,209 to support early education and comprehensive services for low-income children and families. In June, Senator Durbin announced more than $58 million for Head Start and Early Head Start programs. "The Head Start program is the source of countless success s… Continue Reading


Durbin, Senators Push to Attach Airport Security Measures to FAA Reauthorization Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined a group of Democratic senators in urging House and Senate members negotiating the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill to include a provision to enhance U.S. airport and mass transit security. The senators sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee who are currently negotiating the FAA… Continue Reading


Durbin Critical of Army Corps Decision Not to Use a Project Labor Agreement for the Wood River Levee, a Part of the Metro East Levee Projects

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today criticized a decision by the Army Corps of Engineers not to select a contract with a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the Wood River Levee in Wood River, Illinois. Both Durbin and the Southwestern Illinois Flood Prevention District Council had urged the Army Corps to use a PLA. "This decision is baffling to a community that made it abundantly clear that this project contain a PLA. PLAs serve as a basis for a partnership between the local workfo… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $107 Million for Emergency Preparedeness in Illinois During FY2016

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced more than $107 million in federal funding to improve emergency preparedness across Illinois. In fiscal year 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded state and local authorities, transportation agencies, and port facility operators in Illinois preparedness grants totaling $107,952,308 to prevent and respond to acts of terrorism and other hazards. "The recent string of horrific terror attacks around the world has und… Continue Reading

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