Press Releases


Durbin Forwards Recommendations for Federal Judges in the Northern District to the 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 Northern District of Illinois. Durbin forwarded the names of the following seven individuals to President Obama for consideration: Jorge Alonso, Michael Brody, Sara Ellis, Caryn Jacobs, Patricia Martin, Mary Smith and Andrea Wood. "One of t… Continue Reading


Durbin Hosts Gun Violence Listening Session with Chicago Area Law Enforcement Officials

[CHICAGO] - In preparation for the Congressional debate on gun violence expected to begin later this month, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today met with law enforcement leaders from the Chicago metropolitan area to discuss the strategies being used to reduce violent crime and prevent mass shootings in the city and surrounding communities and what Congress can do to help. "The slayings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School… Continue Reading


Illinois, Missouri Delegation Disappointed by Air Force's Decision

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Today U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) expressed concern with the Air Force's decision not to select Scott Air Force Base as a candidate for its next generation aerial refueling tanker. The Air Force selected five candidate locations after a review of existing refueling bases and may consider Scott for later tranches of the KC-46A aircraft. The joint Illinois and Missouri delegation will review the details surr… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces A More Than $628,000 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 $628,628 in grants to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put themselves in harm's way, we must ensure that they are equipped with the best tools possible to do th… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Support of Illinois Marriage Equality Bill in Letter to State Assembly Members

[Washington, D.C.] - Illinois' Senior Senator, Dick Durbin (D-IL), announced his support for a marriage equality bill in Illinois' General Assembly today in an open letter to members of that body. The legislation, legalizing same-sex marriage in Illinois, is being considered by the General Assembly and could come to a vote in the State Senate as soon as today. If approved, Illinois would become the 10th state to extend marriage equality to all its citizens. "I don't often write to express m… Continue Reading


Durbin Honors Retiring Du Quoin Mayor John Rednour on Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) yesterday paid tribute to Du Quoin Mayor John Rednour, who will soon be retiring after more than two decades in City Hall. "I would like to take a moment to wish Mayor John Rednour of Du Quoin, Illinois, a very happy 78th birthday and to thank him, as he prepares to retire, for his many years of public service to his town and our state," Durbin said. "As a labor leader, businessman, mayor, husband and father, John Rednour has contribut… Continue Reading


Durbin Pays Tribute to St. Clair County Sheriff Mearl Justus on Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today paid tribute to the life and career of Mearl Justus, a devoted public servant who served eight terms as St. Clair County's sheriff. Sheriff Justus passed away on Tuesday, just one week after his retirement as Sheriff of St. Clair County. "My home county of St. Clair, Illinois lost a dedicated public servant this week," Durbin said. "Sheriff Justus was a legend in St. Clair County. He was funny. He was an innovative and creative thi… Continue Reading


Durbin Pays Tribute to Retiring Illinois State Senator on U.S. Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today honored retiring Illinois State Senator Jeff Schoenberg of Evanston on his more than two decades of service in the Illinois General Assembly. Last year, Schoenberg announced that he will not seek re-election next year instead choosing to focus on improving the lives of children and families through an expanded role advising the J.B. and M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation. "Jeff has been a dedicated public servant to his constituents in… Continue Reading


Durbin: No Special Exemptions for S.S. Badger

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today on the floor of the Senate criticized the operation of the coal-fired S.S. Badger which has dumped more than 35,400 tons of coal ash - enough to coat the entire floor of Lake Michigan in a 2.5 inch thick layer of ash - since it began running 1953. Earlier this week, Durbin spoke with the Region 5 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Susan Hedman, to urge the agency to deny a permit that would allow the S.S. Badger to con… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks Energy Secretary to Approve Next Phase of FutureGen 2.0 Project in Meredosia

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following a vote today by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in favor of the power purchase agreement for the power that will be generated by the FutureGen plant in Meredosia, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve the next phase of the FutureGen 2.0 project which includes preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering. "The ICC's decision today solidifies the FutureGen plant's financial viability. I thank Governor Quinn … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Rockford Airport Director to Discuss Support for Regional Transportation Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Mike Dunn, Director of Chicago Rockford International Airport, to discuss regional transportation and infrastructure priorities. A photo of today's meeting is available here. Dunn has served as the airport director since January 2012. He previously served as an airport board member and board chairman. "As one of the busiest air cargo airports not just in Illinois, but in the entire country, Chicago Rockford International Airp… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Passing of Senator Daniel Inouye

[Washington, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today on the death of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye: "The passing of Senator Dan Inouye marks the loss of a truly great American. Facing questions about his loyalty to this country, he volunteered his life serving in a Japanese -American unit in World War II. On the battlefield he demonstrated a level of courage which led to his being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. As a Congres… Continue Reading


Senate Approves Durkin Nomination for Illinois Northern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that the Senate has approved the nomination of Thomas Durkin to fill a pending vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois. "Tom Durkin has the qualifications, independence and integrity to serve with distinction on the federal bench. Throughout his career, Tom Durkin has demonstrated strong leadership in his community and a solid commitment to public service." said Durbin. … Continue Reading


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

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