Press Releases


Durbin Introduces American Innovation Bill

[CHICAGO] - With a decline in federal scientific research threatening our standing as a leader in discovery and innovation and our global competitiveness, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today unveiled the American Innovation Act during a speech to the Chicago research community at 1871. The American Innovation Act will put funding for basic research on a consistent, steady growth path over the next decade by providing annual budget increases of 5 percent - over and above inflation - for cutting… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Can't Continue To Look The Other Way As For-Profit College Industry Exploits Students, Fleeces Taxpayers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that Congress can't continue to look the other way when it comes to abuses by the for-profit colleges that - in some cases - take in more than 90% of their revenue from the federal government yet account for these startling lopsided statistics. For-profit colleges: Educate 10% of students; Receive 20% of all federal aid to education; yet are Responsible for 44% of all student loan defaults. "How can we … Continue Reading


Durbin, Senate Ukraine Caucus Meet With European Ambassadors To Discuss Increased Military Aid To Ukraine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the Senate Ukraine Caucus met today with European Union Ambassador to the U.S. David O'Sullivan, as well as ambassadors and officials from the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania, and Poland to discuss Russian aggression in Ukraine. During the meeting, Durbin raised the importance of halting Russian aggression in Ukraine and bullying elsewhere in the region, including the possible provision of defensive weapons to Ukrai… Continue Reading


As Rising Student Loan Debt Nears $1.2 trillion, Durbin Introduces Legislation To Address Crisis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a group of 12 other Senators today in introducing a bill that will help address the student debt crisis by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private unsecured debt. Our nation continues to face a student debt crisis, with students and graduates carrying nearly $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. Balances of student loans have surpassed both auto loans and credit cards, making… Continue Reading


Durbin: Human Trafficking Bill Is A Chance For Bipartisan Cooperation On A Just Cause, Not A Time For Political Grandstanding

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the Justice For Victims of Trafficking Act. Durbin urged his Republican colleagues to drop a controversial provision from the bill so the Senate can move forward and pass this important piece of legislation. The problematic provision would expand the so-called Hyde Amendment to restrict the reproductive health choices of victims of human trafficking who receive services funded by the bill. Durbin also sp… Continue Reading


Durbin, Feinstein: FDA Needs To Investigate Allegations That Purina Beneful Dog Food Contains Toxins

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called on the agency to quickly investigate claims that Purina PetCare Company's Beneful dry kibble dog food contains toxins which may have sickened thousands of dogs. Media reports cite 3,000 complaints about dogs that are sick after consuming Beneful dry kibble. Some reports allege the kibble contains toxins like propylene glycol, which is used in automobile a… Continue Reading


Senators Urge HHS To Strengthen, Finalize Tobacco Deeming Regulations To Protect Children Against Harmful E-Cigarettes

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeffery Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell urging HHS to strengthen and finalize tobacco deeming regulations so that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has regulatory authority over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes. The Senators pressed… Continue Reading


Durbin: EPA Designation Entitles Mahomet Aquifer To Special Protection

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated news today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source aquifer. Durbin filed a comment with the EPA last year in support of the proposal designating the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source of drinking water for the residents of central Illinois and entitled to special protections. A copy of Senator Durbin's letter to the EPA is available here. "More than half of the population i… Continue Reading


Before Meeting With Illinois MS Society, Durbin Calls For A Renewed Commitment To Biomedical Research On The Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Following a speech on the United States Senate Floor urging Congress to make federal funding for treatments and cures to diseases like multiple sclerosis and cystic fibrosis a national priority, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with members of the Illinois Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society who are in Washington, DC for the National MS Conference. A photo of today's meeting, which was attending by Illinois MS Society President Holly Messick, will be available shortly her… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds White House Announcement Of Increased Nonlethal Military Aid For Ukraine, Renews Call For Defensive Weapons

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement after President Obama approved increased funding and nonlethal military equipment for Ukraine: "This is a good day for the Ukrainian people," said Durbin. "A timely increase U.S. military aid is critical for Ukraine to defend its borders against brazen and violent Russian aggression in the east. I applaud President Obama for sending a strong signal both to the people of Ukraine as well as to the Kremlin. But more can … Continue Reading


Durbin To Army Secretary: It Is Time For The Corps To Come To The Table On Metro East Levees

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Committee, met today with Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno and insisted the Army help resolve an issue related to planned improvements to the levees in the Metro East area of Illinois. Local leaders and community members in Madison, St. Clair, and Monroe Counties have raised money to make much-needed improvements to federal levee projects in their communit… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott To Discuss Regional Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Rock Falls, Illinois Mayor Bill Wescott who was Washington, D.C. to discuss 2015 regional priorities including infrastructure initiatives. A photo from today's meeting is available here. "Mayor Wescott proudly serves the City of Rock Falls, Illinois and it was great to meet with him today," said Durbin. "I look forward to continuing our work together this year by finding ways to improve the community and the local economy i… Continue Reading


Senators Introduce Bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bipartisan group of Senators today introduced a bill that would allow local brick-and-mortar retailers to compete on a level playing field with out-of-state sellers. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 would give states the option to require out-of-state businesses, such as those selling online or through catalogs, to collect and use taxes already owed under State law the same way local businesses do. U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) along with Assistant Senate Democrat… Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Bill To Help American Workers, Families Avoid Asbestos Exposure

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With asbestos-related diseases still claiming as many as 10,000 American lives every year, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today that will help Americans avoid exposure to the potentially deadly substance by increasing the amount of information available to the public about where it is found. Asbestos is a carcinogenic substance that increases the risk of mesothelioma and other cancers in those who are exposed to it. The World Health Organization estim… Continue Reading


Durbin: President's Student Aid Bill Of Rights Will Better Protect Student Borrowers But Is No Substitute For Debt Relief

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), author of the Student Loan Borrower's Bill of Rights, today applauded President Obama's decision to provide additional protections to both federal and private student loan borrowers, but said that work remains to bring immediate relief to millions of struggling borrowers. Today's announcement of a Student Aid Bill of Rights will simplify how students interact with student loan servicers. It incorporates many improvements from Durbin's own Stu… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Senate To Confirm Loretta Lynch As Attorney General This Week


Durbin meets With Illinois Firefighters, Speaks At The International Association Of Firefighters Conference

[WASHINGTON, DC]. - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with firefighters from across Illinois today to discuss labor rights, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant programs that support local fire stations, and first-responder issues. A photo from the meeting is available here. Earlier in the day, Durbin spoke at the International Association of Firefighters 2015 legislative conference. In his speech, Durbin discussed labor issues, including his support for the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Senate GOP Letter To Leaders Of Iran

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding an open letter signed by Senate Republicans to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran: This is a cynical effort by Republican Senators to undermine sensitive international negotiations-it weakens America's hand and highlights our political divisions to the rest of the world. Understand that if these negotiations fail, a military response to Iran developing their nuclear capability becomes… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Train Derailment In Western Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement on the oil train derailment near Galena, Illinois. "First and foremost - though the situation on the ground is far from over - I am extremely grateful that it appears no one has been hurt. I have spoken with federal, state and local agencies responding to the disaster and will continue to closely monitor developments. "Nationally, the rising number of fiery train derailments across the country is una… Continue Reading


Durbin, Baldwin Introduce Expansion of VA Caregiver Program That Could Help Thousands More Veterans and Their Families

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced the introduction of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Family Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act, a bill that would open the VA Family Caregivers Program to all eligible veterans who were severely injured while serving our country. The Family Caregivers Program provides home health training, peer support, and a small financial stipend to caregivers of severely injured veterans. The caregivers also have access t… Continue Reading

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