Press Releases


Durbin Discusses Congenital Heart Disease Research with Illinois Leaders & Activists

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois constituents who have congenital heart defects, their families and their physicians who are in Washington, DC advocating for increased research funding on behalf of the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association, the Adult Congenital Heart Association, and the Children's Heart Foundation. Durbin recently introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize his Congenital Heart Futures Act, which expired earlier this year. Pho… Continue Reading


Durbin: No Town Too Small, No Suburb Too Wealthy to Avoid Heroin Epidemic

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Attacking America's Epidemic of Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) shared his experiences meeting with local advocates, law enforcement officials, health professionals, and people affected by heroin and opioid addiction throughout Illinois. He told his colleagues, "I've done roundtables around Illinois. There's no town too small, no suburb too wealthy not to have heroin overdose deaths in the state… Continue Reading


Durbin: "FTC Charges of Deception Against DeVry University are the Latest Chapter in the Shameful Story of So Many For-Profit Colleges"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed suit against DeVry University, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said "it's time to clean up the for-profit college industry and stand up for students and taxpaying families." DeVry University is a for-profit college whose students cumulatively hold $8.3 billion in student debt - the fourth highest debt volume of any higher education institution in America - and have a 2009 five-year cohort default rate of 43%… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on HUD to Strengthen Regulations Addressing Childhood Lead Exposure

[CHICAGO, IL] - Following a Chicago Tribune report that highlighted numerous incidents of childhood lead poisoning in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro to urge the Department to conduct a thorough review of its regulations of acceptable lead exposure levels for children living in federally subsidized housing. "In Flint, Michigan, where there is currently a lead-tainted water crisis, lead exposure is exace… Continue Reading


Durbin Commends President Obama's Leadership in Addressing Solitary Confinement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised President Obama's decision to ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles - a move he called for at Senate hearing he chaired in 2014. Durbin is the lead Democratic cosponsor of bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation - the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 - which includes a similar ban. The legislation also grants judges greater sentencing flexibility for certain low-level offenders and establishes rec… Continue Reading


Durbin Encourages Commuters to Take Advantage of Larger Mass Transit Tax Benefit

CHICAGO - As tax season begins, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today encouraged employers and mass transit commuters to take full advantage of a tax benefit that was strengthened and permanently extended by Congress late last year. The tax-free benefit could yield $1,000 annually in federal and state tax savings for qualified mass transit commuters. As part of the omnibus spending and tax bill, Congress passed a permanent increase of the commuter tax benefit for mass-transit riders, restori… Continue Reading


Durbin, Leahy, Senators Call on Administration to Halt Deportation Raids & Consider Temporary Protected Status for Vulnerable Families

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and twenty of their Senate colleagues to send a letter to President Obama calling for an immediate halt to the Department of Homeland Security's recent targeted arrests and deportations of mothers and children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. The senators also urged the Administration to consider designating Guatemala and redesignating El Salvador and Honduras for temporary protected status. … Continue Reading


Durbin, Foster Meet with Aurora Leaders to Discuss Rail Tank Car Safety

AURORA - In response to safety concerns raised by the rapid increase of trains carrying volatile crude oil and ethanol across the country, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL-11) today met with Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner and local stakeholders to discuss actions to strengthen tank cars and prevent derailments. Durbin and Foster highlighted recently-enacted legislation that includes several improvements to rail safety. "Just five years ago, very little crude oil … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Implementation of New Visa Waiver Program Restrictions

WASHINGTON-Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding today's implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was included in the end of year Omnibus spending bill. Under the new law, travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries who are nationals of or have traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria on or after March 1, 2011 are no longer permitted to travel to the United States under the … Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes Illinois Mayors to Washington to Discuss 2016 Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with mayors from across Illinois who are in Washington, D.C. for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. At the meeting, Durbin discussed local priorities for 2016, including transportation and infrastructure initiatives and local economic development issues. "The Illinois mayors and local leaders who are here in Washington today represent an important voice for each of their communities, cities and townships back home," Durbin s… Continue Reading


Durbin: Get Beyond the Screaming Rhetoric of the Presidential Campaign, Sit Down and Listen to the Stories of Syrian Refugees

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke out against legislation that would unfairly block Iraqi and Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their home countries from finding safe haven in the United States, saying on the Senate Floor: "Let's call it for what it is. It's not designed to make us safer. It's designed to stop Syrian refugees from coming to the United States." Each year, the United States accepts about 70,000 refugees from around the world-they are the most … Continue Reading


Durbin: Reject Partisan Attempts to Obstruct Criminal Justice Reform Bill

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on so-called mens rea reform legislation that Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) ) is insisting be included in the bipartisan Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act negotiated by Durbin and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). "Instead of working with Democrats to reach a compromise, Sen. Hatch filed his legislation as an amendment to the Sentencing Reform … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Supreme Court Taking up Executive Immigration Action

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the announcement that the Supreme Court will review and rule on President Obama's immigration actions in the State of Texas v. United States of America: "It was cruel but not surprising that an outspoken anti-immigration judge in Texas and Republican-appointed judges on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily halted these critical pro-family programs. But the Supreme Court has been clear th… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Syrian and Iraqi Refugees, Expresses Opposition to Anti-Refugee Bill

CHICAGO - A day before the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on legislation that would effectively dismantle the Syrian and Iraqi refugee resettlement program, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with a small group of refugees who have settled in the Chicago area to hear their stories and express his opposition to the legislation. The American SAFE Act of 2015 would require the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the FBI Director to each personally certify mo… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Announcement that Iran has met its Nuclear Agreement Obligations

CHICAGO-Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the announcement that Iran has met its obligations to dismantle its nuclear weapons program under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: When the Iran nuclear agreement was signed experts believed that Iran was only weeks away from developing a nuclear weapon. Because of this historic agreement; the removal of twelve tons of fissile material; the destruction of 13,000 cent… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for End to Ban On Centers for Disease Control Gun Violence Research

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called for the end of a longstanding prohibition on federally funded gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The provision blocking public health research on ways to combat the gun violence epidemic in the United States dates back to an appropriations rider initially passed by Congress in 1996. The original author of that rider, former Congressman Jay Dickey (R-AR), has expressed regret for that rider and ca… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds President's State of the Union Commitment to Breakthrough Research & Discovery

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) - author of The American Innovation Act and The American Cures Act - applauded President Obama's commitment in last night's State of the Union to supporting breakthrough developments in scientific and biomedical research. "Last night, the President committed to innovation, and it was music to my ears to hear him talk about medical research and the difference it can make in the United States and in the world," Durbin said. Senator … Continue Reading


Durbin Releases Video Statement Following the State of the Union

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released a video statement today following President Obama's State of the Union address. Footage of Senator Durbin's statement is available for TV Stations using FTP in high definition here and in standard definition here. In what has become an annual tradition, Durbin hosted an Illinois servicemember as his guest for the President's State of the Union address. This year's guest is Major Gerry Sharp - a Buf… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on President Obama's State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON-Assistant Senate Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement on President Obama's State of the Union Address: About a decade ago, I had a conversation with my Senate colleague, a young man named Barack Obama, about running for higher office. Tonight, I was honored to hear my friend and former Senate colleague deliver his final State of the Union Address as President of the United States. We've come a long way. When President Obama took office, o… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Illinois Service Member Who Will Be His Guest for the State of the Union

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Major Gerry Sharp - a Buffalo Grove, Illinois native and Northern Illinois University graduate - who will be his guest for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address later this evening. Major Sharp has served in the United States Army for twenty-six years. In his current position as Director of the Warrior and Family Coordination Cell at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Major Sharp coordinates efforts to supp… Continue Reading

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