Press Releases


Durbin: Senate Confirms Lewis to be U.S. Attorney in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate unanimously approved James Lewis to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois. "With over twenty years of experience in the office of U.S. Attorney in Central Illinois, James Lewis brings a strong background in the law to this position," said Durbin. "I was honored to recommend his name to President Obama, and am confident that he will bring a strong work ethic, independence, and … Continue Reading


Durbin, Quinn: DOJ Announces Plans to Fully Utilize Thomson Correctional Center

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced today that the Department of Justice (DOJ) intends to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center by the end of the year and fully utilize the entire facility. In a letter to Durbin, Quinn and Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL), a DOJ official explained that the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) plans to make modifications to the prison and hire and train a full complement of staff while the Defense D… Continue Reading


Durbin, Key House Conferees Reach Agreement on Interchange Fees

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that an agreement has been reached with key conferees on the Wall Street reform bill regarding his amendment regulating interchange fees. The agreement makes minor, clarifying changes to the language which passed the Senate 64-33, and responds to concerns raised by state governments regarding their use of prepaid and debit cards distribution of government benefits. "I'm pleased that we were able to… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Lawmakers in Calling for Government Review of For-Profit Colleges

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In light of recent press reports raising concerns about the for-profit education sector U.S. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) today joined other lawmakers in calling for a review of for-profit or "proprietary" institutions of higher education. Specifically, they asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the quality of for-profit institutions, as well as how much of their revenue is comprised of Federal student aid and other Federal funding sources.… Continue Reading


Durbin: New Provisions of FDA Tobacco Law Will Save Lives, Protect Children

[CHICAGO, IL] - Provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that go into effect tomorrow will prevent kids from picking up the deadly habit of smoking, help current smokers quit, and save many lives, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The provisions go into effect on the one-year anniversary of the bill's enactment. "The common sense reforms enacted by this law will finally end decades of tobacco industry deceit and targeting of children as 'replacement smo… Continue Reading


Durbin, Burris, Illinois Delegation Call on President to Provide Federal Relief for Five Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roland Burris (D-IL) and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation today have agreed to request that President Obama declare five Illinois counties - Kankakee, LaSalle, Livingston, Peoria and Putnam - federal disaster areas. Members signing on to the letter include Representatives Melissa Bean (D-IL), Judy Biggert (R-IL), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Danny Davis (D-IL), Bill Foster (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Debbie Halverson (D… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Energy Efficiency Research in Urbana

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Creative Thermal Solutions, Inc. in Urbana, Illinois, will receive $1,010,611 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This funding will be used to research ways to dramatically increase the efficiency of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and to pursue technologies that apply to both air conditioning and refrigeration. "This funding is an investmen… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $500,000 in Recovery Act Funding for Energy Efficiency Training in Des Plaines

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Gas Technology Institute in Des Plaines, Illinois, will receive $448,405 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to develop energy efficiency training programs for commercial building equipment technicians. "This funding is an investment in the effort to reduce the carbon footprint of Illinois residents and businesses," said Durbin. "It will help create the technologies a… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $675,000 FEMA Grant for Addison 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 $677,250 grant to the Addison Fire Protection District #1 in Addison, Illinois, for the hiring of new firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer 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 th… Continue Reading


Durbin: White House Nominates Myerscough to Fill Federal Judgeship in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Appellate Court Justice Sue Myerscough to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois (Springfield). The White House recently nominated James Shadid to fill a vacancy in Peoria. Last month, Durbin began accepting applications for a third vacancy in this district and asked a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting candidates. "Sue Myerscough… Continue Reading


Durbin, Lautenberg Warn Tobacco Companies Not to Engage in Misleading Cigarette Advertising

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today urged four major tobacco companies not to engage in any effort to mislead customers to believe they are buying safer cigarettes. Last year, Congress passed landmark legislation that banned using descriptors in cigarette labeling - such as "light," "mild," or "low-tar" - which insinuate or imply that certain products are healthier or lower risk than regular cigarettes. Research has definitively shown that alt… Continue Reading


Durbin Writes Clinton on US Support of Somali Government, Child Soldiers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today asking her to look into reports that U.S. financial support to the Somali Transitional Federal Government is being used to pay for the use of child soldiers - potentially a violation of U.S. law. Durbin's letter follows a report by the New York Times that the Somali government has hundreds of child soldiers on its front lines, some as young as 9 years old. "I write w… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on the Payment of Interchange Fees by the Federal Government

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired an oversight hearing today on the federal government's payment of interchange fees. The hearing follows the release of a Treasury Department report which concluded that the federal government could save nearly $40 million a year of taxpayer dollars if Treasury were allowed to negotiate interchange rates with … Continue Reading


Amtrak is Working on the Railroad in Chicago

CHICAGO - Amtrak is using $115 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve tracks, buildings and control systems in Chicago this construction season, as part of a $1 billion construction program to fund capital projects designed to rebuild the critical infrastructure of America's Railroad. "We are investing in our infrastructure in Chicago to improve our operations and support the growing demand to travel by Amtrak," said President and CEO Joseph Boardman… Continue Reading


Durbin and Gutierrez Vow to Restore Fairness to Electronic Payment System

[CHICAGO, IL] - As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate begin ironing out the differences in their respective Wall Street reform bills, U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez today announced his support for an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to help reduce the interchange or "swipe" fees that small businesses pay on every credit and debit card sale. Durbin's amendment was included in the Senate's Wall Street reform bill, but was not included in the House-passed bil… Continue Reading


Following Meeting With Labor Secretary, Durbin Calls on Peabody Energy to Explain Safety Violations at Willow Lake Mine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Chairman and CEO of Peabody Energy to explain what steps the company is taking to improve safety and reduce violations of mine safety standards at Willow Lake mine near Equality, IL. Earlier, Durbin spoke with the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, about the agency's decision to expedite a hearing to review several "significant and substantial" safety violations that are being contested by the company. … Continue Reading


Durbin: University of Illinois to Receive Nearly $800,000 in Research Funding

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded $799,200 in federal grant funding to the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, to help fund the Illinois Height Modernization Program (ILHMP).The ILHMP aims to establish a statewide network of survey benchmarks and acquire a high-resolution digital elevation model of the Earth's surface. The funding will allow the … Continue Reading


Durbin: 150,000 Illinois Seniors Will Soon Receive Federal Rebate to Help Pay for Costly Medications

[CHICAGO, IL] - Illinois seniors who have fallen into the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the "donut hole" will soon receive $250 rebate checks from the federal government, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) told seniors gathered at the Northwest side Copernicus Center today. The rebate checks are one of the immediate benefits of the new health care reform law and by the end of the year will be sent to roughly 150,000 Illinoisans in the donut hole to help pay for their medications. … Continue Reading


After Recent Discovery of EAB in Winnebago County, Durbin Asks USDA to Assist Illinois in Response Efforts

[WASHINGTON, DC] - After learning of the newest discovery of Emerald Ash Borer in Winnebago County, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) today requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in responding to the infestation. Assistance may include resources for surveillance activities, deploying traps, setting up and enforcing compliance agreements and quarantine areas. This year, the State of Illinois has already added two additional counties to its quarantine area and … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More than $1.25 Million in NEH Grants for Illinois Organizations

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded 7 grants totaling $1,265,227 to 6 Illinois organizations. Several of these organizations have been recognized by the NEH for advancing the goals of its We the People program. The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Today's grants were awarded through a highly competitive revi… Continue Reading

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