Press Releases


Durbin: Project Rebuild Act Would Help Turn Around Vacant Homes and Businesses

[Rockford, IL] - In an effort to stabilize neighborhoods, rehab vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses, and create jobs, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) pushed for passage of the Project Rebuild Act while visiting Rockford today. The legislation would help rehab houses and businesses that have been abandoned through foreclosure by providing targeted assistance through formula funding and new competitive grants. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates that Illin… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Statement on Passage of Resolution Supporting NATO's Upcoming Chicago Summit

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed by voice vote a resolution supporting the upcoming North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Chicago: "The upcoming Chicago Summit is an opportunity to showcase Illinois and this great city to the world," said Durbin. "Thousands of visitors will get the chance to experience our world-class city-the birthplace of the modern skyscraper and the elev… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Baha'i Resolution Passes in the U.S. Senate by Unanimous Consent

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The United States Senate last night unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) condemning the government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of its Baha'i minority. The resolution, S. Res. 80, demands the Government of Iran uphold the rights of all Iranian nationals, including members of the Baha'i faith. A House companion, H. Res. 134, introduced by Representatives Robert Dold (R-IL), Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Brad … Continue Reading


"Student Debt Bomb" Alert: Durbin, Harkin, Introduce Bill to Ensure Students Are Not Misled on Loan Options

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Noting that two-thirds of private student loan borrowers were not aware of the dramatic difference between federal student loans and risky, higher-interest, private student loans, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) today introduced a bill that would require schools to counsel students before they sign on to expensive, even unnecessary, private student loan debt and inform them if they have any untapped federal loan eligibility. In many instances students … Continue Reading


Durbin and Franken Introduce Legislation to Reduce Tax Haven Abuse

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - US Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) introduced legislation today that would require Members of Congress and candidates for federal office to include in their financial disclosure filing an accounting of any financial interest in a country that is considered a tax haven. The bill would also apply to federal employees who are required to file financial disclosures and the spouses of Members of Congress or candidates. "Any individual who has or wants to hav… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on Treasury Department Budget

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a hearing today to review the FY2013 budget request for the Department of the Treasury and to discuss the impact of the foreclosure crisis and our nation's growing student loan debt on the economic recovery. President Obama's FY2013 budget request for the Treasury Department is $14.072 billion which includes funding for the Internal Revenue Service and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Treasury… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks State Department to Update US-Mexico Extradition Treaty

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the State Department to work with its Mexican counterpart to modify two outdated provisions of the U.S.-Mexico Extradition Treaty to allow more international fugitives to be brought to justice in the United States. "Given that the original treaty was executed over 30 years ago and only one protocol has been executed since then, the time is well overdue for the U.S. and Mexico … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Temporary Protected Status for Syria

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - US Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Obama Administration announced that temporary protected status (TPS) would be extended to Syrian nationals currently in the United States. Such a designation allows Syrians living in the United States to temporarily stay because violence in their home country poses a serious threat to their safety. Durbin, along with Senators Leahy (D-VT), Feinstein (D-CA), Menendez (D-NJ), Cardin (D-MD) and Casey… Continue Reading


Sports Bounties

Mr./Mme. President, I rise to speak about a disturbing practice that was recently uncovered by the National Football League. Let me say, it is important to play hard in every sport. But it is also important to play fair … and to play safe. I was appalled to learn about a recent National Football League investigation revealing that the New Orleans Saints had allegedly been running an illegal "bounty" program. Through this disturbing practice, players were reportedly given signi… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Judiciary Hearing on Sports Bounties

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that he will chair a Judiciary Committee hearing on bounties in sports and determining whether federal sports bribery laws should be expanded to include sports bounty programs. The announcement comes the day after the National Football League (NFL) suspended the New Orleans Saints' head coach, defensive coordinator, and general manager for their involvement in a bounty program used by the team. The hearing w… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Shimkus, Costello Welcome SBA Disaster Declaration for Southern Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jerry Costello (D-IL) today welcomed the announcement of a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Declaration for Saline County, which will allow residents and businesses in the region severely impacted by severe storms and tornadoes three weeks ago to receive SBA loans. These loans provide assistance to homeowners, renters, businesses to repair or replace disaster damage… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces His Opposition to S.S. Badger Effort to Secure New EPA Permit

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to the owner of the S.S. Badger, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that he will actively oppose the company's efforts to secure a permit that would allow the S.S. Badger to continue dumping over 500 tons of coal ash into Lake Michigan each year. Durbin's announcement comes after his meeting with the President and CEO of the Lake Michigan Carferry Service, Robert Manglitz, who proposed a plan to convert the S.S. Badger to liquefied natural gas (LNG)… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Shimkus, Costello React to Denial of Disaster Declaration for Southern Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL) and Jerry Costello (D-IL) today expressed disappointment after receiving word that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has denied the State of Illinois' appeal for a Presidential disaster declaration for five counties - Gallatin, Randolph, Saline, Union, and Williamson - in Southern Illinois that were devastated by severe storms and tornadoes three weeks ago. "A few days… Continue Reading


Honor the Special Relationship between America and Ireland by Passing the Irish E3 Visa Bill

Mr. President, yesterday afternoon I had the honor of attending the annual Speaker's Luncheon celebrating the long and enduring partnership between the Irish and American people. Among the guests of honor were the President and Vice President and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny. And this past Saturday, St. Patrick's Day, I joined Prime Minister Kenny, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel to march in Chicago's annual St. Patrick's Day parade. As one of the 40 million Amer… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Budget Hearing on CFTC

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today chaired a hearing which reviewed the funding request of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the nation's primary financial market regulators. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler testified before Durbin's Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. "With our markets on the rebound, record high gas prices and vast new regulatory responsibilities, CFTC's roles in protecting consume… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on Senate to Pass Irish E3 Visa Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Following Taoiseach Enda Kenny's visit to Washington yesterday, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today called on the Senate to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which includes a Durbin co-sponsored amendment establishing a two-year visa program for Irish citizens. The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act has already passed the House of Representatives with broad bipartisan support. "In December, Senators Schumer, Leahy and I introduced an amendment that rec… Continue Reading


The Looming Student Debt Crisis: Providing Fairness For Struggling Students

Hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts Our nation faces a serious problem with student loan debt. Last month, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued an eye-opening report titled "The Student Loan 'Debt Bomb." The report pointed out that American student borrowing exceeded $100 billion in 2010, and total outstanding student loans exceeded $1 trillion last year. There is now more student loan debt in this count… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Ignores Exploding Student Debt Crisis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - At a hearing to examine the growing student loan debt crisis in America, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged Congress to take steps to help struggling students beginning with the passage of his Fairness for Struggling Students Act - a bill that will restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. Durbin also addressed the role of for-profit colleges in exacerbating the growing debt… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Delegation Call on President to Grant Appeal of Denial of Federal Relief for Southern Illinois Counties

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) were joined by the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation today sending a letter to President Obama in support of the State of Illinois' appeal of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) denial of federal assistance to the five Southern Illinois counties affected by severe storms and tornadoes earlier this month. FEMA issued the denial last Sunday. "We write to support Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's appeal of … Continue Reading


Senators Applaud First of Its Kind Smoking Prevention Campaign

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today applauded a hard-hitting anti-tobacco media campaign focusing on the immediate and devastating health effects of smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's campaign - which is primarily funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act - is its first federally-funded and nationally coordinated smoking preventio… Continue Reading

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