Press Releases


Durbin Praises Sister Shelia Lyne for Making Chicago a Healthier, Better City

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised South Side of Chicago native Sister Sheila Lyne for her passionate devotion to health care and justice which has made Chicago a healthier and better city. Last week, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center announced that Sister Sheila Lyne would be retiring from her position as President and CEO as soon as a successor can be named. "If Chicago politics is not where you would expect to find a nun working, well, you have never met … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces an $849,164 Investment in Streamwood and Taylorville Firefighters

[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 $849,164 in grants to two fire departments for hiring initiatives aimed at increasing the number of frontline firefighters. "Day after day, our nation's firefighters are called upon to protect communities in Illinois and around the country," Durbin said. "It's our job to ensure that these brave men and women who pu… Continue Reading


Durbin: Demolition of Rock Pinnacles Could Begin Next Week

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised the news that a contract has been awarded for the demolition of rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River and the work could begin as early as next week. In a November 29 meeting with Durbin and five other Midwest Senators, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, agreed to expedite the demolition process in order to help navigation on the Mississippi River. "The Army Corps of Engineers has wasted no ti… Continue Reading


Durbin Holds Hearing on Ending the School-to-Prison Pipeline

[Washington, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, held a hearing today on the school-to-prison pipeline. The first-ever Congressional hearing on the matter investigated the troubling increase in the number of young people sent to the juvenile delinquency system as a result of relatively minor school discipline issues. "For many young people, our schools are increasingly a gatewa… Continue Reading


Durbin Meetins with Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Director of Agriculture

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson and Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Robert Flider to discuss the potential disruption of navigation on the Mississippi River due to historic low water levels, and steps that are being taken to minimize the impact this would have on Illinois farming communities. The Mississippi River is a critical transportation artery for essential commodities, such as corn, grain and oils… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $5.7 Million in Federal Funding for Agricultural Research at University of Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the National Science Foundation has awarded $5,733,824 in funding to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the Plant Genome Research Project to identify and develop corn strains that are most resistant to elevated ozone levels brought on by air pollution and climate change. Tropospheric ozone is the most damaging air pollutant to crops, and has reduced potential corn yields by as much as 10 percent, costing mi… Continue Reading


Durbin: Army Corps Believes Their Efforts Will Maintain Traffic Along the Mississippi River Despite Low Water Levels

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that he will convene a meeting of stakeholders - including Senators from states bordering the Mississippi River, state and local officials and representatives from industries such as agriculture and shipping - for a briefing from the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss navigation on the Mississippi River through means other than releasing additional water from the Missouri River. Durbin also announced that the Army Corps ex… Continue Reading


Durbin, Blumenthal: FDA Taking Energy Drink Concerns Seriously

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After a meeting with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today said they are confident that the FDA is taking their concerns about energy drinks seriously. The Senators said: "At our meeting the FDA made it clear it is moving forward in a number of areas to protect vulnerable populations against high levels of caffeine in energy drinks. The energy drink makers are mis… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Illinois State Legislators to Discuss Bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met with Illinois State Senators Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake) and Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) to discuss the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would level the playing field for small businesses by allowing local brick-and-mortar retailers to compete more effectively against out-of-state internet sellers. The legislation was introduced by Senators Durbin, Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and a bipartisan group of 7 other Senator… Continue Reading


Bi-State Delegation Announces that Senate Approves Provisions from their Bill to Increase Workload at Rock Island Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) announced that major portions of their bill to help increase the workload and help ensure the long-term health of Rock Island Arsenal were included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. The bill will now go to a House-Senate Conference Committee tasked with working out the differences between the Senate version and House version of the defense authorizat… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Over $21 Million in HUD Funding for Illinois Communities and Housing Agencies

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois communities and housing agencies will receive $21,105,325 in grant funding through three programs administered by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Community Development Block Grants The Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) program provides annual grants to states and local governments to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable l… Continue Reading


Durbin: Language Protecting Coal-Fired S.S. Badger Stripped from House Passed Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the House of Representatives passed a bill to reauthorize the US Coast Guard - the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act - which is now clean of any language that would have allowed the S.S. Badger to continue dumping over 500 tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan each year. The original House bill included language that would have exempted the S.S. Badger from long-standing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regul… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Decisions by SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union to Adopt Fee Disclosure Form

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent letters to the CEOs of SunTrust, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union and UW Credit Union today, applauding the financial institutions' decisions to voluntarily adopt a disclosure form designed to make checking account terms and fees transparent and easy for consumers to understand, as he has been urging. Copies of those letters are attached. "Today's decision by these three financial institutions to voluntarily adopt a simple and cl… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Passes Defense Authorization Bill that Includes Provisions to Improve Mental Health Services for Veterans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed today by a bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate, includes portions of the Mental Health ACCESS Act, cosponsored by Durbin, which will improve the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)'s suicide prevention, counseling, and mental health staffing while expanding eligibility for some services to family members. "The Army says that when you draft a soldier today, you draft a… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Send Four Finalists for U.S. Attorney to the White House

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today recommended four finalists for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois to President Obama for consideration. The four finalists are, in alphabetical order: Jonathan Bunge; Zachary Fardon; Lori Lightfoot; and Gil Soffer. "I'm pleased to recommend four exceptional candidates to be the next U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois," Durbin said. "Each brings a range of legal a… Continue Reading


Durbin, Coons Amendment on Congolese Violence Passes Senate

[Washington, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin's (D-IL) and Senator Chris Coons' (D-DE) amendment dealing with the terrible violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) unanimously passed the Senate late yesterday and was included in the National Defense Authorization Act, a measure expected to pass next week. The amendment imposes an asset freeze and visa ban on persons deemed to be providing support to the M23 rebels in eastern Congo. Last week, the re… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk: Army Corps Will Expedite Process to Demolish Rock Pinnacles

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After a meeting with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) announced that the Army Corps of Engineers will expedite the demolition of rock pinnacles that will help keep water and goods moving on the Mississippi River. Additional Senators attending today's meeting include, U.S. Senator Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). … Continue Reading


Durbin, Blumenthal: FDA Reviewing Safety of Caffeinated Energy Drinks and their Additives

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In response to a series of letters from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed that they are currently reviewing the safety of energy drinks containing caffeine and other ingredients that act as stimulants and may require regulatory action if evidence of a health risk is found. Since April, both Senators have been calling on the FDA to take action to regulate energy drinks and to investiga… Continue Reading


Durbin to Accreditor: Audit Baseless Job Placement Rates of For-Profit College Company EDMC

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to audit all job placement rates reported by Education Management Corporation (EDMC), a for-profit college company that was recently featured in an ABC news report. The report highlighted a lawsuit against EDMC by a former employee which raises serious concerns about the validity of EDMC's reported job placement rates. "While I appreciate the Southern Association of Colleges… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schakowsky, Emanuel Urge French Justice Minister to Ensure Justice Is Done During Hans Peterson Retrial

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today urged the Minister of Justice of France to ensure that justice is served in the retrial of Hans Peterson, who confessed to murdering Chicago physician Dr. David Cornbleet in 2006. Peterson was initially convicted of murder in a 2011 trial in the French justice system and received the most severe sentence available. Peterson exercised his right under French law to… Continue Reading

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