Press Releases


Durbin Legislation to Provide Support to Families of Severly Disabled Service Members Signed into Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that his legislation to increase access to compensation for catastrophically injured service members who require assistance in everyday living was signed into law today by President Obama as part of the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation - co-sponsored by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) - improved a limited Defense Department proposal to better assist families who need financial assistance as they… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $11 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Smart Grid Technology in Naperville

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the City of Naperville will receive $10,994,000 in Recovery Act funding for energy grid modernization technologies that will spur the nation's transition to a smarter, stronger, more efficient and reliable electric system. Earlier today, President Obama and the Department of Energy announced $3.4 million in Smart Grid grants nationwide that are expected to create tens of thousands of jobs and a strong… Continue Reading


Durbin Remarks on Unemployment Insurance Extension

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the United States Senate today about the need to help families that are still searching for work by extending unemployment insurance. Without an extension of unemployment insurance this week, 200,000 American families will be in a position of not being able to put food on the table - 20,000 of those families live in Illinois. "We have tried - more than once - to bring to the Senate floor a bill to … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Public Option

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today made the following statement regarding the news that the Senate health care bill will include a public option: "For weeks, Majority Leader Harry Reid has worked to forge an important consensus within our Caucus and with the White House in support of a public health insurance option. Because of his efforts, today we are within reach of an historic achievement -- providing access to health care for every American family. The opt-out plan … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Urgent Need for Food Safety Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivered the following statement today at a hearing on state of the nation's food safety systems. Durbin is the author of the bipartisan FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510), a bill that will give the Food and Drug Administration new authorities, tools and resources to comprehensively reform the way we ensure the safety of our food supply. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin HELP Committee Hearing on FDA … Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves Resolution Granting Honorary Citizenship to Casmir Pulaski

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate unanimously approved a resolution proclaiming Casimir Pulaski an honorary citizen of the United States. The legislation passed the House of Representative earlier this month and will now go to President Obama for his signature. Durbin joined with Representative Dan Lipinski in sponsoring similar legislation that passed the Senate by unanimous consent in both the 110th and 111th Congresses. … Continue Reading


Durbin, Bean: North Chicago Health Center Legislation Approved by Congress Awaiting President's Signature

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL) today announced that the language necessary to complete the merger of the North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Naval Health Clinic Great Lakes has cleared the final major legislative hurdle. Earlier today, the Senate passed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 68-29 giving authority to the Navy and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to jointly operat… Continue Reading


Durbin, Costello Announce New Carrier to Provide Air Servie to Downstate Communities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Jerry Costello (D-IL) today announced that two new air carriers will begin providing air service from three downstate Illinois communities to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport before the end of the year. Cape Air was awarded the Essential Air Service (EAS) contracts in Marion/Herrin and Quincy, while Air Choice One will serve Decatur. There will be no interruption in service during the transition to a … Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Clean Cruise Ship Act to Protect Oceans, Marine Life and Great Lakes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation to protect the oceans and marine life by extending the Clean Water Act to appropriately regulate the millions of gallons of wastewater discharged in U.S. waters every day by cruise ships. Durbin's bill, known as the Clean Cruise Ship Act would ban the release of raw, untreated sewage in U.S. waters, including the Great Lakes. Nearly identical legislation was introduced in the House of Represent… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $3 Million in Recovery Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $3,190,000 in loan guarantees through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to two rural Illinois businesses. Today's funding announcement is part of a nationwide announcement of $71.7 million in funding to help 20 rural businesses nationwide gain access to the capital they need to launch and expand their businesses and help create additional job… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves $1 Million for Chicago Emergency Center

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Congress has approved $1 million for upgrades to the Emergency Operations Center in Chicago. The legislation will now go to President Obama for his signature. The 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations bill includes funding for the following project: • Emergency Operations System, Chicago: $1,000,000 in funding for computer systems upgrades and capital improvements to the Emerg… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Special Envoy to Sudan on New Administration Policy

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with U.S. Special Envoy to the Sudan, Scott Gration, today to discuss the Obama Administration's new policy toward the war-torn country. The approach announced yesterday by Secretary of State Clinton combines a campaign of pressure and incentives to pursue peace in the Darfur region of the Sudan, ensure implementation of the peace agreement with South Sudan and to provide greater cooperation on international terrorism. … Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves More Than $94 Million for Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Congress has approved $94,396,000 for energy- and water-related projects in Illinois. The bill will now go to President Obama for his signature. The Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill includes funding for the following projects: Army Corps of Engineers: • Carlyle Lake, Carlyle. $4,914,000 in funding for operations and maintenance at Carlyle Lake, the largest man-made lake… Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Bill to Eliminate Sentencing Disparity Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), joined by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Crime and Drugs Subcommittee Chairman Arlen Specter (D-PA), and seven other Senators, introduced legislation today to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. His bill, the Fair Sentencing Act, would refocus scarce federal resources toward large scale, violent traffickers and increase penalties for the worst drug offenders. According t… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Attorney General to Discuss Chicago Youth Violence

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the federal, state and local effort to combat youth violence in Chicago. Holder briefed Durbin on the outcome of last week's meeting with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. They also discussed the role the federal government can play in assisting the state and local effort including: increasing funding for community-based violence prevent… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with DeKalb Mayor to Discuss Economic Development and Local Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Mayor of DeKalb, Kris Povlsen to discuss economic development, transportation issues and other local priorities. [Photo from today's meeting courtesy of Senator Durbin's office is attached (from left to right: Mayor Povlsen and Senator Durbin)]… Continue Reading


Bill to Award Muhammad Yunus Congressional Gold Medal Unanimously Passes Senate

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Late yesterday, the United States Senate unanimously approved a bill to award Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus a Congressional Gold Medal. The bill, introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT), recognizes Dr. Yunus as a leading figure in the effort to fight poverty and promote economic and social opportunity. Through his Grameen Bank, Dr. Yunus has pioneered the microcredit movement and helped hundreds of millions of people… Continue Reading


Durbin Expands Bipartisan Screening Committee; Calls for Applications for Two Vacant Federal Judgeships in Central Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the names of two new members to serve on a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges for the Central District of Illinois. Durbin has asked small business owner and attorney, J. Victor Malkovich of Champaign and Macon County Assistant State's Attorney, Ruth Waller to serve on the Central Illinois Judicial Screening Panel. There are two federal judgeships in central Illinois that are now,… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1 Million in DOT Grants for Illinois Scenic Byways

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $1,039,722 in grants to the Illinois Department of Transportation for the National Scenic Byways Program. Under the program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American Roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and scenic qualities. There are 126 such designated Byways in… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $1.1 Million Grant for Shedd Aquarium

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Commerce's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded a $1,100,000 grant to the Shedd Aquarium Society for a project that will educate visitors about the ocean and encourage better stewardship of the marine environment. Today's funding is part of a national announcement of 11 grants totaling $9,000,000 for the creation of new education projects in aquariums across the… Continue Reading

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