Press Releases


Durbin, Along with Military & Education Leaders, Urges Congress to Support Bright, Accomplished Kids with Bipartisan DREAM Act

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged Senate colleagues to come together and support the DREAM Act, a narrowly tailored, bipartisan measure which would permit a select group of undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years. "When I hear some describe this bill as amnesty, I wonder, if someone is willing to r… Continue Reading


DREAM Act as an Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill

Mr. President, last month we had a controversial and spirited debate over immigration. It went on for several weeks on the floor of the Senate, and many Members of the Senate thought about it and voted one way or the other. The net result is that nothing happened. That is unfortunate. Everybody concedes our immigration laws have broken down. About 600,000 illegal people come into the United States each year and stay. Over 20 years, we now have 12 million people. The number continues to gro… Continue Reading


Feingold-Reid Amendment--Ending Iraq War and Bringing Troops Home

Mr. President, today we face an awesome vote, a historic vote in the Senate. It is a vote about this war in Iraq. It is an issue which consumes this Senate and this Nation. We have lost 3,400 soldiers, over 30,000 returned home injured, some with serious, grievous disabilities and injuries they will battle for a lifetime. We have spent over $500 billion, and there is no end in sight. This morning, the White House announced that the President has finally found a general who will accept t… Continue Reading


High Costs of Iraq War, Need for Policy Change

Mr. President, time is running out to fund the troops. There are many of us who believe the policy in Iraq is a failed policy. The numbers we are given every week are stark and frightening: Over 3,370 American soldiers have now lost their lives in the war in Iraq. Another five were killed yesterday. Over the weekend, three American soldiers were kidnapped. There is a manhunt underway to try to find them and rescue them as quickly as possible. And to all those involved, they have our praye… Continue Reading


Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act of 2007

Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the bipartisan Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act of 2007. I am pleased to have the support and cosponsorship of Senator Grassley for this important legislation, and I look forward to working closely with Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter to advance the bill through the judiciary Committee and to secure its enactment into law. The Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act will take the next step toward wiping out the domestic produ… Continue Reading


Homeland Security Education Act--Increase International Competitiveness in Science and Technology

Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to support the Homeland Security Education Act. This bill encourages initiatives to increase the number of Americans trained in science, technology, engineering, math, and foreign languages. More than a century ago, Henry Ford revolutionized transportation and industry with the creation of the Model T. This car and the process designed to create it were so innovative that it was copied by every other company. The Model T became the base model for all … Continue Reading


Increasing Broadband Access to Improve Competitiveness

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for calling this hearing and for the opportunity to present written testimony for the record. Over the past several months I have held regional broadband summits in Southern Illinois in Carbondale and Central Illinois in Springfield. My hope in organizing those events was to raise awareness of the importance of high speed internet access for health, education, and economic development outcomes. If there was one message I heard loud and clear at these s… Continue Reading


Casualties of War: Child Soldiers and the Law

Good morning and welcome to "Casualties of War: Child Soldiers and the Law," the third hearing of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. This is the first time in Senate history that there has been a subcommittee focused on human rights. And this is the first-ever Congressional hearing on the urgent human rights crisis of child soldiers. That fact alone demonstrates the need for this new Subcommittee. As this hearing's title suggests, during times of war both the rule of law … Continue Reading


S. 1172: Hunger Free Communities Act

Mr. President, President Eisenhower once stated, ``Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in armaments is not spending its money alone: it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.'' In as trying a time as we live in today, his statement cannot ring more true. We are in th… Continue Reading


Court Security Improvement Act

Now comes this bill before us, the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007. This bill is the kind of bill which routinely passes in the Senate with no debate. The reason is, it isn't debatable. It comes down to a question of protecting the men and women who serve in the Federal judiciary. This is an issue which is personal with me. In 2005, one of my close personal friends, a woman I appointed to the Federal court in Chicago, Joan Lefkow, went through a tragic personal experience. Someon… Continue Reading


Medicare Prescription Part D

Medicare prescription Part D is a program long overdue. When Medicare was created by President Johnson in the 1960s, it didn't include prescription drugs. Over the years, as more and better prescription drugs were discovered and invented and marketed, we understood that to keep people healthy, our parents and grandparents and disabled people needed access to affordable drugs. For many years, many of us have supported the idea of including prescription drugs in the Medicare plan so seni… Continue Reading


Stem Cell Research Bill; Deriving Stem Cells in a Positive Way to Save Lives

Mr. President, I thank my colleague from Georgia for his gracious gesture. I also thank my colleague from Iowa, Senator Harkin, along with Senator Specter, for introducing this bill on stem cell research. Some important things have been said on the Senate floor today. Senator Smith of Oregon made an exceptionally moving statement on this issue. I thank him for sharing his views. This is a tough issue. It is not easy. I totally respect those who see it differently than I do, including t… Continue Reading


School Libraries--READesign Program and "Adopt a School Library Month"

Mr. President, When I was growing up in East St. Louis, I spent hours reading about faraway places, exciting adventures, and historic figures and events. I spent countless hours in the library discovering wonderful stories and developed a lifelong love of reading. Now imagine going to school where the library is dark and uninviting, and where there is no librarian in sight. These conditions are real. I have visited schools in my home State of Illinois and seen libraries that show their … Continue Reading


Legal Options to Stop Human Trafficking

Good afternoon, and welcome to the second hearing of our new Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. Unfortunately, our ranking member, Senator Coburn, is not able to be here today. But I know he feels as strongly as I do about the issue we will discuss today, and about the mission of this subcommittee. This is the first time in Senate history there has been a subcommittee focused on human rights. At this moment in time, it is crucial to our national interest to promote greater res… Continue Reading


Fair Elections Now Act

Mr. President, imagine a President coming before a joint session of Congress and using his bully pulpit to call for a fundamental change in the way we fund political campaigns in America. Imagine a President saying we need to buy back our democracy by replacing special-interest-funded elections with publicly funded elections. As hard as it may be to believe, that happened. An American President did say that--100 years ago. His name was Teddy Roosevelt, and his call for public financing … Continue Reading


Fourth Anniversary of Iraq War --Veterans' Care, VA Funding

Mr. President, today marks a somber milestone. It was 4 years ago today that President Bush ordered our military to launch a preemptive invasion of Iraq. I can recall the vote on the Senate floor--I have spoken of it many times--which led to that decision by the President. We cast thousands of votes as Members of the Senate, the House, and most of them are hard to remember. One can never forget a vote cast about war. You know people will die as a result of that decision. We focus on eli… Continue Reading


High Speed Internet Services and Information Technology Act

Chairperson Howard, Members of the Committee, I am pleased to have the opportunity to submit this statement for the record with regard to Representative Howard's High Speed Internet Services and Information Technology Act of 2007. The proposed legislation builds on the positive developments we've witnessed in the State of Kentucky in terms of increasing broadband penetration and access. Much of that success was enabled by the work of the public-private Connect Kentucky partnership. Th… Continue Reading


Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans Forum

Mr. President, this morning I held a hearing in Chicago at the University of Illinois, Chicago medical campus. It was a hearing to discuss the challenges we face with returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. It was clear from the turnout at that hearing there is an intense interest in this subject. Much of it was brought on by the Washington Post front-page story of a few weeks ago about the now infamous Building 18 at Walter Reed Hospital. Like many Members of Congress, I have vis… Continue Reading


Benefits of Social Security and the Need to Make It Stronger

Mr. President, I rise to speak in morning business and address the issue which has become central to our debate about the domestic agenda for America. There is a lot of time being spent by the President and Members of Congress talking about the privatization of Social Security. Social Security is a very important program for millions of Americans. It brought dignity to senior citizens and gave them a chance in their retirement years to live with enough money to get by. Before Social Se… Continue Reading


Hearing--Genocide and the Rule of Law

Welcome to "Genocide and the Rule of Law," the inaugural hearing of the Judiciary Committee's newly-created Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. We are honored to welcome as well this distinguished panel of witnesses to share their views on this important and timely issue. After a few opening remarks, I will recognize Senator Coburn, the Ranking Member, for an opening statement, and then we will turn to our witnesses. But first a word about this new Subcommittee. I want to th… Continue Reading

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