Press Releases


Durbin Statement on Passage of Bill to Lower Rates for All Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed a bipartisan bill to lower interest rates for 100% of borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new federal student loan after July 1, 2013. "This agreement will ensure students loan rates will fall below the 6.8 percent rate that kicked in on July 1," said Senator Durbin. "Once again we've shown that when both sides work together, we can reach fair … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on US District Court Decision Regarding Conflict Minerals

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the US District Court in Washington DC threw out a challenge to the Security 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 ensure that they are not purchasing mineral… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on Closing the Prison at Guantanamo Bay

[WASHINGTON, DC] Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today chaired a hearing to examine the national security, fiscal and human rights implications of closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The hearing was the first on this issue in the Senate since 2009 and comes two months after President Obama's May 23rd national security speech, in which he announced new steps towards the closure of Guantanamo. "The President's authority to close Guantanamo Bay has been limited by Congre… Continue Reading


An Important Tool to Reduce Gun Violence

CSI is one of the hottest shows on television. Brilliant investigative minds use all the tools to catch criminals and make us safer. Now it's time for Illinois law enforcement to use the most basic tool to fight gun violence: tracing crime guns. It costs the police nothing and solves crimes, yet hundreds of Illinois law enforcement agencies still don't use this basic crime-fighting tool. Here's how the crime gun tracing system works. When a gun is recovered in a criminal investigati… Continue Reading


Durbin Reminds Illinoisans of July 24 FEMA Aid Registration Deadline

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today encouraged Illinoisans affected by the storms bringing flash and river flooding between April 16th and May 5th to apply for disaster aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by the July 24th deadline. To be considered for Federal disaster aid, residents must apply with FEMA even if they have already provided damage information to other agencies or organizations. "This spring's storms and floods are far behind us, but … Continue Reading


Durbin Bill Urges Law Enforcement to Take Advantage of Federal Gun Tracing Resources

[CHICAGO] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on law enforcement agencies to take advantage of the federal gun tracing resources available to help them crack down on gun violence. Durbin announced he is introducing a bill that creates strong incentives for law enforcement agencies to report 100 percent of the crime guns they recover to the ATF National Tracing Center, a practice many agencies do not currently follow. Crime gun tracing can help generate leads in criminal investigatio… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Federal Judicial Nominees in Northern & Central District District of Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, has unanimously approved Sara Ellis and Andrea Wood for federal judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and Colin Bruce for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. Their nominations will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate. "Both Sara Ellis and Andrea Wood will make exceptional … Continue Reading


Durbin, Bustos: Senate Committee Calls for Activation of Thomson Prison

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos (IL-17) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Durbin is a member, today approved funding for the activation of the Thomson correctional facility in Thomson, Illinois at the level that was requested by President Obama in his fiscal year 2014 budget proposal which was delivered to Congress last April. Durbin and Bustos plan to meet with officials from the Department of Justice's … Continue Reading


Bipartisan Group of Senators Reach Deal to Lower Rates for All Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Angus King (I-ME), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Tom Carper (D-DE), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced a bipartisan compromise to lower interest rates for 100% of borrowers who have taken out, or will take out, a new federal student loan after July 1, 2013. "This agreement will ensure students loan rates will fall below the 6.8 percent rate that kicked in o… Continue Reading


Durbin Forwards Recommendations for Federal Judges in the Southern District to White House

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Based on recommendations made by a bipartisan screening committee, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today forwarded a list of names to the White House for consideration when filling vacant judgeships on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. Durbin forwarded the names of the following five individuals - George A. Norwood, Nancy J. Rosenstengel, Stephen Stone, Lisa M. Wood and Staci M. Yandle - to President Obama for consideration for filling judicial … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a Nearly $1.1 Million Investment in Flood Protection Efforts in Wood Dale, IL

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded a $1,093,748 grant for flood protection efforts in Wood Dale, Illinois. "This federal funding will support flood control efforts in Wood Dale, and help protect the health, safety and welfare of local residents," Durbin said. "Today's investment will help reduce future costs to the local government for emergenc… Continue Reading


Illinois Senators Work to Save Army Corps Stronghold and Its Missions to Prevent Spread of Asian Carp

WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today applauded passage of their amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill that prevents the removal of critical functions and staff from the Chicago District Office of the Army Corps of Engineers. In June, the Corps of Engineers announced an effort to move Chicago District Office functions to Detroit, potentially impacting more than 200 employees who oversee Corps projects such as Asian Carp, electric barriers … Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Collect on Wager with Warren and Cowan on Blackhawks-Bruins Stanley Cup Final

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) collected Legal Seafood's Chowder and Sam Adams beer from Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and William "Mo" Cowan (D-MA) today after their friendly wager of home-state products for National Hockey League's Stanley Cup Finals series between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins. Durbin and Kirk wagered Eli's Cheesecake and 312 beer from Goose Island Brewery in Chicago. The Chicago Blackhawks won the series four game… Continue Reading


Senator Meets with Argonne Board Chairman Following Committee Approval of Appropriations Bill That Preserves Essential Funding for Fermilab and Argonne National Lab

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Argonne National Laboratory Chairman of the Board and University of Chicago President, Robert Zimmer, following the Senate Appropriations Committee's approval a bill that preserves essential federal funding for scientific research and development programs that will support work at both Argonne National Laboratory and Fermilab. The two labs together employ roughly 4,725 Illinoisans. A photo of today's meeting is available here. … Continue Reading


Durbin: Bill to Fund Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development Protects Illinois Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which he is a member, has approved a bill to fund the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the 2014 fiscal year that will protect Illinois priorities, promote infrastructure investment and create jobs. TIGER Grant Program Created by Congress in 2009, the TIGER grant program directs the Department of Transportation to invest in a … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Passage of Immigration Reform Bill

Washington, D.C. - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), one of the eight authors of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, made the following statement before the Senate voted to approve the measure, 68-32: "First I want to thank the seven Senators who joined with me to reach this moment in history. We came together to see if we could create a bill and in the end, we did much more. We created a friendship and a life experience we will never forget… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Congratulate Blackhawks on Winning the Stanley Cup

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today congratulated the Chicago Blackhawks after they captured the Stanley Cup for the second time in four seasons last night with a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. The Senators also introduced a resolution praising the Chicago Blackhawks for winning the 2013 Stanley Cup (see attached). Durbin said: "The Chicago Blackhawks are Stanley Cup Champions once again with yet another dramatic fin… Continue Reading


Durbin, Boozman, and Coons Bill to Increase US Exports to Africa Passes Committee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A day before President Obama is set to begin a weeklong trip to Africa to promote American business and trade, a bill to create American jobs and dramatically increase the number of U.S. exports to the continent was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today and sent to the full Senate for consideration. The bill, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Boozman (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE), aims to improve America's competiveness throughout the con… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision on the Voting Rights Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today, after the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "For almost 50 years, the Voting Rights Act has protected minority populations from discrimination at the ballot box, whether in the form of poll taxes, literacy tests or voter identification laws and discriminatory redistricting. We need look no further than the last election cycle to understand the ong… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Supreme Court's Decision in Fisher v. University of Texas

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today, after the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of the University of Texas's admission policy. In its 7-1 ruling, the Court reaffirmed the principle that universities may consider racial and ethnic diversity as one factor among many in a narrowly tailored admissions policy. "Today's decision reaffirms our nation's commitment to racial and ethnic diversity" Durbin said. "This decisi… Continue Reading

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