Press Releases


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 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, 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, 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


Durbin Today Met with New Democratic Members of Illinois Congressional Delegation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the new Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation to his Washington, DC office. The members attending today's breakfast meeting include: Congresswoman-elect Cheri Bustos, Congresswoman-elect Tammy Duckworth, Congressman-elect William Enyart, Congressman-elect Bill Foster and Congressman-elect Brad Schneider. Durbin will be meeting with Congressman-elect Rodney Davis later today. "I am very excited to welco… Continue Reading


Citing Rising Public Health Concerns About Energy Drinks, Durbin, Blumenthal Call for Meeting with FDA to Discuss Action Plan

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received a total of 18 adverse event reports of fatalities following the consumption of 5-Hour Energy and Monster energy drink, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today called for a meeting with the FDA Commissioner, Margaret Hamburg, to discuss the steps the agency is taking to ensure the safety of these products. "Over the past year, there has been alarming evidenc… Continue Reading


Durbin, Emanuel Announces $100,000 Federal Grant to Increase Availability of Locally Grown Produce in Chicago Public Schools

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the Department of Agriculture has awarded $100,000 in funding to Chicago Public Schools District 299 to help make more locally grown produce available in their school cafeterias. This "Farm to School" grant will be used to fund a school garden program to teach students about agriculture and nutrition and to provide schools with fresh produce for healthy lunches. The funding will also be used … Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Should Honor Veterans By Passing Bipartisan Legislation to Create Jobs for Veterans and Improve Mental Health Services

Senator reports over 5,150 families nationwide - including more than 130 in Illinois - are part of the Family Caregivers Program created by his legislation Senator also honors former Joliet resident and WWI veteran, Joseph Ambrose [WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that Congress can and should do more to honor those who answer the call of duty and risk everything to defend America. Specifically, Durbin called on members of the Senate to put aside partisan diffe… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on a Bipartisan Solution to the Fiscal Cliff

[Washington, D.C.] Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today on the need for bipartisan cooperation to avoid the fiscal cliff: "The only way Congress can avoid the so-called fiscal cliff is through a balanced approach that cuts spending and raises revenue while asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. That is the approach the American people have shown they support and it long-past time for both parties to come together and reach… Continue Reading


Durbin, Quinn Announce Sale of Thomson Correctional Center to the Federal Government

[THOMSON, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Obama administration and the Federal Bureau of Prisons will purchase the underutilized, state-of-the-art maximum security Thomson Correctional Center to house federal criminal offenders. More than 1,100 jobs are expected to be generated once the facility is fully operational. "At the direction of President Obama, the Department of Justice, on behalf of the federal Bureau of Prisons, file… Continue Reading


Durbin to the American Bankers Association: "A Defeat Is Not the Same as a Mistake"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Frank Keating, President and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA), today to set the record straight about swipe fee reform. The letter was in response to a missive the ABA sent to congressional leaders last week calling swipe fee reform a "mistake." "Last week you sent a letter to the United States Congress in which you criticize the debit interchange reform law that Congress enacted as a 'mistake[],'… Continue Reading


Senators Work to Improve Lock and Dam Infrastructure Along Mississippi River

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to the Environment and Public Works Committee which just began work on a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, to include funding and legislative language that would establish a long-term strategy to expedite construction and operation of critical lock and dam projects along the Mississippi River. "The system… Continue Reading


Durbin: Next WRDA Bill Should Include Streamlined Levee Approval Process

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which just began work on a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill, to include legislative language to streamline the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 408 approval process for communities making improvements to flood control infrastructure. According to Durbin, this change will recognize that communities willing to raise the funds to make repairs should be able to obta… Continue Reading


Senators to FTC: Investigate Companies That Use Deceptive Online Marketing to Recruit for For-Profit Colleges

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate third-party online marketing companies, so called "lead generators," that recruit for for-profit colleges often using deceptive practices. The Senators also urged the FTC to do more to protect consumers from deceptive lead generators by creating meaningful guidelines and strengthening their oversight. "Betwee… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Levin, Casey Lead Effort to Restore Great Lakes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Great Lakes Task Force, today joined Senate Great Lakes Task Force co-chairs U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Carl Levin (D-MI) and Task Force member, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to introduce the Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection Act, a bill to address the most significant challenges in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The legislation targets invasive species, nonpoint source and nutrient pollution, and will help remediate and r… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $567,000 in Funding to Enhance Programs Addressing Violence Against Women on College Campuses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has recently awarded a total of $567,196 in grants through the Office of Violence Against Women to support programs at Illinois institutions of higher education aimed at preventing and combating violent crimes against women on campus. The funding is made available through the Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program. Grants … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $13 Million in Federal Funding to Support Innovative Job Training Program at Harper College

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Labor has awarded a total of $12,939,459 in funding through the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program to expand William Rainey Harper College's Advanced Manufacturing Training Program to other community colleges throughout Illinois. Developed in close partnership with regional manufacturers, Harper's program helps workers develop the skills they need to find employm… Continue Reading

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