Press Releases


Durbin: Federal Government Must Help Law Enforcement Respond to Disabled Americans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, today said that Congress and the Executive Branch should do more to help local and state law enforcement agents who have increasingly become the first responders for disabled individuals in crisis due to inadequate mental health and social services. At a hearing to examine current efforts, Durbin highlighted the Chicago Police De… Continue Reading


Durbin Takes For-Profit Fight to Illinois Classrooms

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged high school principals across Illinois to ensure that their students are receiving honest and accurate information about their higher education options, and that they are aware of the risks associated with the for-profit college industry. Durbin wrote the principals to call their attention to the "often irresistible lure of for-profit colleges," many of which are facing increased scrutiny from federal and state regulators for a var… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk: BP Must Be A Better Neighbor To Lake Michigan, Chicago

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today met with BP America Chairman and President John Minge to voice serious concerns over last month's spill at the company's Whiting, Ind. facility. Noting that the plant recently expanded to double the amount of heavy oil sands it processes and that last month's spill was just the most recent in a string of environmental issues it has caused, the Senators said BP must take steps to prevent any further harm to Lake Michigan or … Continue Reading


Durbin Responds To FDA Tobacco Regulations

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), author of a recent investigative report that found a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes, responded to deeming regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would expand the agency's regulatory authority over tobacco products, including e-cigarettes: "Shame on the FDA. Faced with a responsibility to protect our children from an addiction to a product that… Continue Reading


Members of Congress, Authors of E-Cigarette Marketing Report Respond to FDA Tobacco Regulations

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Today U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), John D. Rockefeller (D-WV), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Jack Reed (D-RI), and U.S. Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) - authors of a recent investigative report that found a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes - responded to deeming regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would expand the agency's re… Continue Reading


Senators Durbin, Warren, Harkin, & Congressman Miller Join Colleagues To Call On Call Education Department To Prohibit Harmful Banking Practices Targeting College Campuses

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa.) and Congressman George Miller (D-Calif.), and their colleagues in the House and Senate today sent a bicameral letter to Secretary Arne Duncan of the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in support of changes to Title IV's cash management rules, which are currently under revision. The letter urges ED to protect students from unfair banking practices, including campus-sponsored debit cards with ter… Continue Reading


Durbin to Chair Hearing on Law Enforcement Responses To Disabled Americans

DURBIN TO CHAIR HEARING ON LAW ENFORCEMENT RESPONSES TO DISABLED AMERICANS Top Law-Enforcement Officials and Mother of Ethan Saylor set to testify [WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will chair a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights to examine state and local law enforcement efforts to develop procedures and training for law enforcement officers who have increasingly beco… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $1.4 Million in Farm Bill Funding for Rural Development Projects in Southeastern Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded two communities in Illinois $1,432,500 in grant funding for water and waste disposal projects. Under this announcement, the following communities will receive funding: The Birds-Pinkstaff Water District in Lawrenceville, Illinois will receive a loan of $2,210,000 and a grant of $1,114,500. This funding will be used to construct a new 1… Continue Reading


Durbin, Others Urge SEC to Implement Conflict Minerals Rule After it is Upheld by District Court

Washington, D.C. - In a letter to the Security and Exchange Commission Chair, Mary Jo White, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and a group of other Member of Congress urged the financial oversight agency to implement the rule requiring due diligence and reporting requirements on the sourcing of conflict minerals in the May 31, 2014 report. "This SEC rule was drafted in a balanced and thoughtful way that followed Congressional intent in trying to provide greater transparency in the… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $655,000 in Farm Bill Funding To Support Illinois Agriculture

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Illinois Department of Agriculture a $654,970 grant through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG). Today's funding will be used to support Illinois agriculture projects that enhance food safety programs, expand access to specialty crops in underserved communities, establish local and regional fresh food systems, and promote local crop production. "The federal f… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $404,000 Investment in Illinois First- Responder Capabilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded $404,538 in grants to five fire departments throughout Illinois. Today's funding will support and improve the capability of each department to respond to fires and other types of emergencies. "This funding will ensure that when fires or other emergencies occur in our communities, our nation's firefighters and firs… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Simon Join Secretary of the Air Force at Scott Air Force Base

[SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon today joined newly confirmed Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James in a visit to Scott Air Force Base. Durbin is the chair of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, which oversees discretionary spending for our nation's military, including bases. "Scott Air Force Base is a crucial part of the region's economy and our nation's defense. Every time I vis… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on U.S. District Court of Appeals Decision Regarding Conflict Minerals

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld most of the key provisions of the Securities and Exchange Commission's conflict minerals regulations. The regulations would require companies that use key minerals mined in Congo to disclose such usage as part of their Securities and Exchange Commission filings, as well as what measures, if any, they are taking to ens… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Congress to Raise Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 an Hour

[COLLINSVILLE] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage by passing the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. The legislation raises the federal minimum to $10.10 an hour, raises the minimum wage for tipped employees to nearly 70 percent of that rate, and indexes yearly wage minimums to inflation. The wage increases provided for in the bill would be phased in gradually over a two year period. "People want to do what it takes to support themselves and… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces FutureGen 2.0 Labor Agreement

[JACKSONVILLE] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced an agreement between the FutureGen Alliance and local labor unions which gives the local unions primary responsibility for hiring the workers needed to build the FutureGen 2.0 project. "In addition to producing affordable, reliable electricity in an environmentally-friendly way, FutureGen will also create hundreds of high-skilled construction jobs," Durbin said. "The agreement announced today allows the project to move forwar… Continue Reading


Durbin, Waxman, Harkin, Rockefeller & Members of Congress: Report Shows E-Cigarette Marketing Campaigns Lighting Up Among Young Users

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Eleven Democratic lawmakers from the Senate and the House of Representatives today released a report that shows a dramatic recent increase in the marketing of electronic cigarettes - or e-cigarettes - with extensive resources being dedicated to social media, sponsorship of youth-oriented events, and television and radio advertisements that reach substantial youth audiences. The report, "Gateway to Addiction? A Survey of Popular Electronic Cigarette Manufacturers and Marketing … Continue Reading


Durbin, McCain to NATO Secretary General: NATO Must Protect Legal International Borders

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John McCain (R-AZ) sent a letter yesterday to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen regarding the continued Russian aggression toward Ukraine. "We write to express grave concern over Russian actions in and around Ukraine. Such aggressive military and intelligence operations aimed at destabilizing other sovereign nations threaten decades of European security and are an affront to the values of NATO, the United States, the Europe… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Baltic and Polish Ambassadors To Discuss Ukraine and Russia

Washington, D.C. -Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) met with Lithuanian Ambassador ┼Żygimantas Pavilionis, Estonian Chargé Tanel Sepp, and Polish Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf to discuss the latest Russian-instigated unrest in eastern Ukraine. A photo of today's meeting is available here. "The Ambassadors expressed their concerns with the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and we agree that the Russian escalation of violence and lawlessness in eastern U… Continue Reading


Durbin Charis Hearing on Defense Department's Health Programs

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a hearing of the Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense today on the Department of Defense's health programs. Following last week's shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, and President Obama's visit to the base today, the hearing focused heavily on the Department's funding for mental health programs and medical research to aid psychological health and rehabilitation. During the hearing, Durbin questioned Lieutenant General P… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks For IG Investigation into Federal Agency's Oversight of Trucking Companies With a History of Violations

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the U.S. Department of Transportation's Inspector General (IG) to audit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's investigative practices. A Chicago Tribune report found a troubling example of FMCSA ordering, but never actually launching, an investigation into an Illinois motor carrier with a long history of violating safety rules. "The January crash in Illinois took the life of a tollway worker and severely injured a … Continue Reading

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