Press Releases


Durbin Announces $350,000 Federal Grant For New Fire Station In Crawford County, Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Hutsonville Township Fire Protection District has received $350,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Community Facility Grant program to help build a new fire station in Crawford County, Illinois. "Fire stations are home to the firefighters, first-responders, and fire protection equipment that keep our communities safe. Building a modern new fire station in Crawford County will … Continue Reading


Senators Urge Department of Transportation to Finally Ban E-Cigarettes On Airplanes

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA) today urged the Department of Transportation to finally prohibit the use of e-cigarettes on airplanes. DOT first proposed a ban more than two years ago, but has delayed issuing a final regulation that would bar e-cigarette "vaping" on all domestic and international flights to or from the United States. In t… Continue Reading


Durbin: Bipartisan Bill Investing in Illinois Water Infrastructure Priorities Becomes Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) celebrated today as President Obama signed into law the Conference Report of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014. The legislation, which was passed by the U.S. Senate at the end of May, authorizes critical investments in Illinois priorities and will help better prepare the Illinois, the Midwest, and the country for extreme weather events like droughts and floods. "Summers in our state bring rising temperatures that can c… Continue Reading


Durbin: College Diploma Should Open the Door to Opportunity, Not To Debtors Prison

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - At a press conference today with young Americans struggling with student loan debt, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed actions Congress could take this week to help ease their burden. Tomorrow, the Senate will hold a procedural vote to open debate on the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. That bill would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest rates offered to new borrowers this past academic year. If passed, ove… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Awarding of Congressional Gold Medal to the Borinqueneers

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after President Obama signed into law a bill that he co-sponsored awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the "Borinqueneers": "American minorities have a proud history of serving their county with honor and distinction, even in the face of racism and exclusion. As the largest and longest-standing segregated unit in our military's history, the 65th Infantry Regiment … Continue Reading


Illinois / Iowa Delegation: Rock Island Arsenal Receives $110 Million in Federal Funding To Ensure Competitiveness & Steady Workload In Future

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The bipartisan, bi-state delegation that represents the Rock Island Arsenal today announced that the United States Army has allocated $110 million in funding for the Arsenal through the Arsenal Sustainment Initiative, which will help ensure that the Arsenal remains competitive as it bids on additional workload through its partnerships with the private sector. Today's announcement was made by the members of the Illinois / Iowa Congressional Delegation: U.S. Senators Dick … Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for a Greater Investment in Biomedical Research

[SPRINGFIELD] - With a decline in federal biomedical research threatening America's standing as a leader in discovery and innovation and our global competitiveness, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called for greater federal investment in biomedical research during a speech at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Medicine. Earlier this year Durbin introduced the American Cures Act, which would provide additional funding in support of future research at the National Institutes of… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Internal VA Audit On Waitlist Practices

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after reviewing the results of a nationwide internal audit into waitlist practices at Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities. "This news is troubling. It comes on the heels of news last week that at least eight veterans had to wait more than 90-days for an appointment at the Marion VA Medical Center. That is unacceptable," said Durbin. "I have asked Acting VA Secretary Sloan Gibson to brief … Continue Reading


Durbin: Funding Bill For Departments Of Transportation & Housing And Urban Development Protects Illinois Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, has approved a bill to fund the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the 2014 fiscal year that will protect Illinois priorities, promote infrastructure investment, and create jobs. Core Capacity The Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Durbin is a member, has approved $120 million to help move forward th… Continue Reading


Durbin: Let Students Refinance Their Loans At Lower Interest Rates

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The dream of a fair shot at an affordable college education has become a long shot for too many, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today during a press conference with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senate Democratic Leadership. Durbin urged Congressional Republicans to back the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would help 1.7 million Illinoisans, currently with outstanding student loan debt, refinance their loans at lower federal interest rates. The av… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Committee Approves Nearly $60 Million To Continue Activation of Thomson Prison

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, approved $43.7 million for equipment and staffing to continue the activation of Thomson Prison. The Fiscal Year 2015 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill, which was passed on a bipartisan vote, also includes $15 million in funding for modernizations and repairs at the prison in Thomson, Illinois. Following the vote, Durbin commended the efforts of … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement On Daca Renewal For Dreamers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Secretary of Homeland Security announced the process for young immigrants to renew their temporary legal status under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA is granted for two-year periods, and the first grants will begin expiring in September. "While America has been waiting for almost a year for the House of Representatives to take action on comprehens… Continue Reading


Durbin: A Fair Shot At An Affordable Education Has Become A Long Shot For Too Many

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the Senate Floor to discuss America's exploding student loan debt crisis and efforts that are underway to help ease this burden for working families and students. Today, he will join Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Jack Reed (D-RI) to introduce a bill based on the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. That bill would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the lower interest r… Continue Reading


Durbin to CN: Keep Your Promises To Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to concerns raised by communities across Illinois, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Canadian National to address ongoing safety and traffic issues including: Canadian National's lack of cooperation with the State of Illinois and Amtrak, which has hindered efforts to expand rail service in Northern Illinois between Galena and Rockford; increased rail traffic that has resulted in a record rate of blocked rail crossings; and Canadian National's refusa… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Proposed EPA Rule On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's announcement of a proposed rule to establish standards for greenhouse gas emissions emitted by existing power plants. Under the proposed rule, each state's environmental agency - including the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency - will be called on to develop individual, state-specific implementation plans to ensure clean air targets are met. "… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Shinseki Resignation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after President Obama announced he had accepted the resignation of the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Eric Shinseki. "The Inspector General's report is a call to action for Congress and the White House to fix our broken VA system. To the men and women who risked their lives for our nation, we made a solemn promise that requires Washington to put politics aside and put our veterans… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $10.2 Million In Funding For Illinois Housing and Community Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that nine communities in Illinois will receive a total of $10,219,186 in grant funding through three programs administered by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help develop urban communities. "This federal investment will give local development agencies across Illinois the ability to offer affordable housing and homeless assistance to the people in their community who need it most," said Durbin. Com… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk: University of Illinois Awarded Federal Funding For Farm Bill Education

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made $3 million in federal funding available to two coalitions - including one led by the University of Illinois - to develop new online tools to inform members of the agriculture community about key programs included in the Farm Bill. As the lead for the National Coalition for Producer Education, the University of Illinois will use this funding to reach out t… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $2.36 Million in Grant Funding to Clean and Redevelop Contaminated Illinois Sites

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded eight grants totaling $2,368,520 to Illinois communities to assess, clean, and redevelop "brownfield" contaminated waste sites. Today's funding is part of $67 million awarded nationwide by the EPA. The grants target local, under-served and economically disadvantaged areas. Since 1995, more than 20,000 properties have been assessed, and more than 850 properties have been c… Continue Reading


Senators Urge Transportation Department to Improve Federal Oversight of Pipelines

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Carl Levin (D-MI) today urged the Department of Transportation to quickly implement the policy recommendations made in the agency's internal audit to improve federal oversight of the nation's pipeline system. Following a 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended an audit of how the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) oversees state insp… Continue Reading

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