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07.23.20

Durbin Statement On Senate Passage of NDAA

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today released the following statement after voting for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes authorization for $44 million for vaccine and biotechnology research related to COVID-19: "The Senate's passage of the NDAA shows that members on both sides of the aisle are committed to a strong national defense and to the protectio… Continue Reading


07.16.20

Durbin Calls For Comprehensive DOD Review Of Treatment Of Women Service Members & Service Members Of Color

PEORIA - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today urged the Department of Defense (DOD) to begin a comprehensive review of the treatment of women and persons of color in the military in light of the deeply disturbing murder of Army Specialist Vanessa Guillén at Fort Hood. In a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, Durbin wrote that sexual assa… Continue Reading


07.15.20

Durbin Discusses COVID-19 With Illinois Veteran Service Organization Leaders

SPRINGFIELD - U.S. Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with Illinois veterans service organization leaders about ensuring COVID-19 treatment and access to VA benefits for veterans and the economic constraints veterans organizations are facing as a result of the economic crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Durbin spoke with the leaders about the rise in COVID-19 cases this spring in Illinois VA hospitals across the state and the growing backlog of VA benefit claims. Durbin discussed his efforts t… Continue Reading


06.30.20

Durbin, Menendez, Reed Seek Details On Pompeo's, Esper's Awareness Of Russian Bounties On U.S. Troops

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL); Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to detail their knowledge of and actions resulting from the U.S. intelligence community's discovery that a Russian intelligence unit offered to pay militants in Afghanistan to target U.S. tr… Continue Reading


06.19.20

Durbin, Duckworth Introduce Bill Expanding Student Loan Refinancing For Servicemembers

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) introduced the Servicemember Student Loan Affordability Act, legislation that would amend the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to allow servicemembers to consolidate or refinance student loan debt they had when they entered the military and continue to benefit from the six percent interest rate cap to which they are entitled through the SCRA. A provision in the SCRA protects servicemembers from high interest rates by … Continue Reading


05.20.20

Durbin Speaks With Air Force Chief Of Staff Nominee General Charles Brown

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today spoke with General Charles Brown, who has been nominated to be Air Force Chief of Staff. On the call, Durbin pressed General Brown on his plans to protect airmen and communities from public health threats, including stopping the spread of COVID-19 and investigating the presence of PFAS in groundwater at Scott Air Force Base and the surrounding community. They also discussed securi… Continue Reading


05.15.20

Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Response At State Veterans Homes With IDVA Director

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed ongoing efforts to mitigate and prevent COVID-19 at State Veterans Homes in Illinois with Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Director Linda Chapa LaVia. Durbin discussed recent reports about a COVID-19 outbreak at the State Veteran Home in Manteno, Illinois, and also received an update on how IDVA is testing all residents in all homes and offering testing to all employees. "I spoke with Director LaVia today to hear how they… Continue Reading


03.12.20

Durbin, Colleagues Introduce Bill Directing VA To 'Do Its Job' And Support Veterans Suffering From Diseases Linked To Agent Orange

WASHINGTON - After years of inaction from the Trump Administration, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and more than 29 Senate colleagues, introduced the bicameral Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide additional benefits for veterans suffering from four diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Currently, veterans with specific health conditions developed as a result of… Continue Reading


03.11.20

Durbin Discusses Detection Of PFAS Near Scott Air Force Base With Secretary Of The Air Force

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today met with U.S. Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett to discuss the detection of the two main types of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) - PFOS and PFOA - during site inspections at Scott Air Force Base (AFB), which may be impacting off-base water wells. The Air Force is now working to determine how many water wells might be impacted, whether people are consuming the water … Continue Reading


03.04.20

Durbin Presses Guard & Reserve Chiefs On President's Diversion Of Funding To Border Wall

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today pressed the Chiefs of the National Guard and the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Forces Reserve about the Trump Administration's short sighted and dangerous transfer of $1.3 billion from the National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) to be used to build part of President Donald Trump's ineffective wall on the southwest border. This funding diversion was… Continue Reading


02.27.20

Durbin, Duckworth, Bustos To DOD: Diverting Border Wall Funding From National Guard To President's Border Wall Is Shortsighted & Political, Hurts 182nd Wing In Peoria

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), today sent a letter to the Department of Defense (DOD) expressing their dismay about the transfer of $1.3 billion appropriated for National Guard and Reserve Equipment and $169 million appropriated for Air Guard C-130Js for the construction of President Trump's wall on our southern border. This funding was part of the recent notification of the transfer of $3.8 billion… Continue Reading


02.25.20

Durbin Discusses Detection Of PFAS Near Scott Air Force Base With Air Force Chief Of Staff

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today met with U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein to discuss the detection of the two main types of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) - PFOS and PFOA - during site inspections at Scott Air Force Base (AFB), which may be impacting off-base water wells. The Air Force is now working to determine how many water wells might be impacted, whether people are consumin… Continue Reading


02.25.20

Durbin, Duckworth Meet With Illinois Director Of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today met with Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Director Linda Chapa LaVia to discuss Veterans issues in Illinois, including disability claims, mental health, and the needs of women Veterans. They also discussed supporting operations at Illinois Veterans' Homes (IVH) and progress in the construction of the Chicago Veterans Home project. "Senator Duckworth and I remain committed from the federal side to provi… Continue Reading


02.19.20

Durbin Meets With Vietnam Vet, Calls On Trump Administration To Stop Blocking Coverage For Agent Orange Diseases

CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with a Vietnam Veteran who has battled bladder cancer and hypertension due to exposure to Agent Orange and called on the Trump Administration to stop stonewalling extending critical health benefits to Vietnam veterans whose service exposed them to Agent Orange. In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed expanding the list of Agent Orange presumptive diseases to include bladder cancer, hypothyroidism, hypertension, and Par… Continue Reading


02.15.20

Durbin, Duckworth Statement On Detection Of PFAS Near Scott Air Force Base

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, today released the following statement after the U.S. Air Force detected the two main types of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) - PFOS and PFOA - during site inspections at Scott Air Force Base (AFB), which may be impacting off-base wat… Continue Reading


02.13.20

Durbin, Duckworth Slam Trump Administration For Stonewalling Veterans Suffering From Agent Orange

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), joined 39 other Democratic Senators in condemning the Trump Administration for stonewalling critical benefits to Veterans suffering from health conditions associated with their exposure to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. In their letter, the Senators specifically called on the Administration to stop denying scientific evidence, and end the years-long dela… Continue Reading


02.12.20

Durbin, Schumer, Veterans Groups Urge Senate To Overturn DeVos Borrower Defense Rule

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and veterans organizations, held a press conference to urge Senate Republicans to support Durbin's Congressional Review Act (CRA) Resolution, (S.J.Res. 56) which would overturn the U.S. Department of Education's 2019 Borrower Defense rule that gutted essential protections for student borrowers and taxpayers. Durbin and Schumer were joined by Ohio Army veteran Tasha Berkhal… Continue Reading


02.12.20

Durbin: Senate Will Soon Have Chance To Stand Up For Defrauded Student Veterans

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today, in a speech on the Senate floor, slammed Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' rewritten borrower defense rule that guts essential protections for student borrowers, taxpayers, and veterans. Durbin urged his Senate colleagues to support his Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution (S.J.Res. 56) of disapproval overturning the DeVos rule when it comes to the Senate floor for a vote. Durbin shared support from American … Continue Reading


01.15.20

Durbin, Duckworth Call On Army To Review Illinois Army Reserve's Handling Of Sexual Assault Claims

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today called on the U.S. Army to review reported mishandling by leaders of the Illinois-based Army Reserve unit, the 416th Theater Engineer Command, of multiple sexual assault claims. In a letter to U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, Durbin and Duckworth called for a comprehensive review of the troubling charges brought to light by a recent Associated Press article into handling of sexual assault claims by the 416th. Durbin… Continue Reading


01.14.20

Durbin: The Power To Declare War Rests Solely With Congress

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, today continued to caution President Donald Trump from plunging the United States into yet another endless war in the Middle East. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin also urged his colleagues to support a war powers resolution, introduced by Durbin and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) earlier this month, to force a debate and vote in Congress to prevent a war with Iran with… Continue Reading

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