Press Releases


Durbin Meets with Army Leadership Prior to Hearing on Army FY2017 Budget Request

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In advance of today's Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the U.S. Army budget, Vice Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) met yesterday with Acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General Mark Milley. During the meeting, Acting Army Secretary Murphy, General Milley, and Durbin discussed the long-term future of Illinois' Army installations, including the Rock Island Arsenal. A photo of the meeting is available here. "Last year, t… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for Accountability & Fairness as STB Considers New Passenger Rail On-Time-Performance Standards

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As the Surface Transportation Board (STB) considers new rulemaking regarding passenger rail on-time performance standards, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called on Board Chairman Dan Elliot to consider the impact of the rule on Amtrak's quality of service in Illinois and throughout the country. "While there needs to be a clear process of accountability for on-time performance, it is important to get it right," Durbin wrote to Elliot, calling attention to the role of freight… Continue Reading


Durbin: Bipartisan Legislation to Allow for Danville VA Land Swap Heads to President's Desk

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Veterans and students in Danville will soon benefit from a land transfer between the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Illiana Health Care System and Danville Area Community College (DACC), said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today. Bipartisan legislation to allow the Illiana VA in Danville, Illinois to convey land to DACC was passed unanimously by the Senate yesterday evening and approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month. The bill - which was co-sponsor… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on President's Plan to Close Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding President Obama's plan to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay: I have long supported our military and national security leaders in their calls to close Guantanamo. For almost a decade, the American people and my Senate colleagues have all known how to do this and why we should: it weakens our alliances, strengthens our enemies like ISIS and Al Qaeda, and casts doubt on our country's commitment … Continue Reading


Durbin: The Senate Needs to Do Its Job & President Obama's Supreme Court Nominee a Fair Hearing and a Timely Vote

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor today to tell his Republican colleagues that "the Senate can't afford to sit on its hands for one year and leave the Supreme Court hanging in the balance." Durbin called attention to the practical and legal ramifications of leaving an extended vacancy on the Supreme Court, noting that, "Major legal and constitutional questions are constantly brought before the court. When the Court is frozen at an even number of… Continue Reading


Durbin: Health and Safety of Alexander County Public Housing Residents Should be Number One Priority

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following an announcement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that it will be taking possession of the Alexander County Housing Authority, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that the health and safety of public housing residents must be the number one priority during the transition. "Though recent steps have been taken to address issues of mismanagement and misuse of funds within the Alexander County Housing Authority, HUD determined today … Continue Reading


Durbin: $118 Million in Funding for Illinois Will Help Revitalize Neighborhoods That Were Hit Hardest by Economic Crisis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised the announcement by the U.S. Department of Treasury that the State of Illinois has been awarded $118,174,500 in funding to support efforts to revitalize neighborhoods that were hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Today's funding was awarded through Phase 1 of the Hardest Hit Fund for which Congress recently appropriated a total of $2 billion. Durbin is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and advocated for boostin… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nominees for Service Academies

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the names of young men and women whom he has nominated to attend four of the nation's service academies. "Every year I am honored to nominate some of Illinois' best and brightest young men and women for our nation's service academies," Durbin said. "These individuals are the leaders of tomorrow, and I have no doubt that they will make their families and their country proud." The academies include U.S. Military Academy at West Poi… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Rush, IDOT, City of Chicago Announce $1.25 Million in Federal Grant for Design of Grade Separation Project on 95th Street

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), U.S. Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL), the Illinois Department of Transportation, and the City of Chicago today announced a $1.25 million federal railroad safety grant that will help cover the cost of design work for an important grade separation project on 95th Street in Chicago that is part of the CREATE Program. The grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is part of Safe Transportation of Energy Products (STEP… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on U.S. - Japan Aviation Agreement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the U.S. Departments of Transportation and State announced a new aviation agreement with Japan regarding access at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda). Today, negotiators announced a proposal that provides for daytime service opportunities for U.S. and Japanese air carriers at Haneda, the busiest in Japan and the closest to downtown Tokyo. These flights may begin as early as Fall 2016. "This agre… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Possible National Historic Landmark Status for S.S. Badger

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after being assured by the Environmental Protection Agency that, a National Historic Landmark designation would not affect EPA's ability to implement any of its environmental regulations related to the S.S. Badger. Earlier today, the Department of the Interior announced the S.S. Badger would be designated a National Historic Landmark almost a year after the ship's owners completed the necessary steps to … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Supreme Court Vacancy

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the vacancy on the United States Supreme Court caused by the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia: Justice Scalia was a person I came to know-he was very bright, funny, and social. We disagreed on a lot of things, but he gave more than three decades of his life to public service and left a real mark on the court. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Senate Republicans have made clear that th… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement regarding the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: Justice Scalia served our country for three decades on its highest court. While our opinions on the law and jurisprudence were frequently at odds, he was steadfast and true to his beliefs during his tenure. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this time.… Continue Reading


Zika: Durbin, Senators Stress Importance of Women's Access to Reproductive Health Care in Light of Spreading Virus

SPRINGFIELD-Today, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined a broad coalition of 31 Senators in sending a letter to Senate Republican leaders emphasizing the importance of prioritizing women's access to reproductive health care in light of the spreading Zika virus. "The recent and alarming spread of the Zika virus poses a serious threat to pregnant women and their children," the Senators wrote. "We write to urge you to join us in our longstanding support of increasing access to reproductive hea… Continue Reading


Durbin, Wicker Say next Amtrak CEO Should Continue Commitment to National System

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter today to Anthony M. Coscia, Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, requesting that the next Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) demonstrate commitment to a unified national passenger rail system. "Illinois rail lines are at the center of our national transportation network. Maintain, modernizing and expanding this network is vital to our state," said Durbin. "Amtrak has made great… Continue Reading


Durbin, Senators Urge DHS to Use Waiver Authority for Dual Nationals Subject to Discrimination from New Visa Waiver Program Restriction

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is leading a group of 12 senators calling on Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to provide guidance on the issuance of waivers for individuals who are dual nationals of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program and Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was included in the end of year Omnibus spending bill, travelers from Visa Waiver Program countri… Continue Reading


Senators Call on Department of Education to Deny Federal Funding to Colleges That Use Forced Arbitration Clauses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Nine U.S. Senators today called on the Department of Education to use its authority under the Higher Education Act to deny federal Title IV funding to colleges and universities that include forced arbitration clauses or other contractual barriers to court access in their student enrollment agreements. In general, the for-profit education sector is unique among institutions of higher education in including these clauses in enrollment agreements. Senators signing on to … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Legislation to Combat Opioid & Heroin Abuse

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Prior to Senate Judiciary Committee approval of legislation to combat opioid and heroin abuse, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called for a committed, comprehensive response to the growing epidemic: "The industry has to step up and accept their share of the responsibility here. Drug companies have to step up. Doctors have to step up. Pharmacies have to step up. And Congress has to step up. And if we are going to deal with this issue - as we should - then it is about more… Continue Reading


Durbin Pays Tribute to Phil Rock on Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) paid tribute today to Phil Rock, the longest serving President of the Illinois Senate, on the United States Senate Floor. "This morning at Old Saint Patrick's church in downtown Chicago, there is a funeral service for an extraordinary Illinois public servant: the late Senate President Phil Rock. On January 29, Illinois lost one of its most principled leaders and public servants. He was a good friend of mine and a good friend of my wife a… Continue Reading


Durbin Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking and Straw Purchasing

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation to combat the practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2016 - sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and cosponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) - responds to calls from law enforcement officials for more effective tools to investigate… Continue Reading

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