Press Releases


Durbin Chairs Hearing to Review the IRS Budget

[WASHINGTON, D.C] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing today on the FY12 funding request for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS, which spent over $7 billion on enforcement of our tax laws last year, was pressed by Durbin about high profile cases of tax fraud, including reports that prisoners have received nearly $125 million in bogus tax refunds over the last five years. Durbin also raised questions about the oversight of p… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on MWRD Vote to Support Disinfecting Sewage that Enters Chicago River

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued the following statement after learning that the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago voted to support the disinfection of wastewater before it enters portions of the Chicago and Calumet Rivers. "Chicago is a world-class city with an ambitious environmental agenda. But while Chicago is listed among the nation's greenest cities, the City's record when it comes to the Chicago River is disappointing. … Continue Reading


Army Secretary to Illinois / Iowa Delegation: No Proposal to Close JMTC at This Time

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The bipartisan, bi-state delegation that represents the Rock Island Arsenal today received assurances from Secretary of the Army John McHugh that the Army currently has no plans to close the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at Rock Island Arsenal. Today's letter was sent in response to a May 26th letter sent by the delegation called for a meeting with McHugh to discuss their concerns about the cost associated with conducting such a move as well as the impact… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senators Recognize National Hunger Awareness Day

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators and Hunger Caucus Co-Chairs Dick Durbin (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard G. Lugar (R-IN), John Boozman (R-AR) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) today recognized National Hunger Awareness Day and called on Americans to support local efforts to combat hunger and food insecurity in the United States. "The level of hunger in our nation is at the highest level since the government began tracking food insecurity in 1995. In Illinois, 500,000 children are living in a food in… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Rock Island Arsenal with Secretary of Defense Nominee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a meeting with President Obama's nominee to be Secretary of Defense and current Director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today discussed his concerns about the possibility that an internal task force within Army could recommend closure of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at Rock Island Arsenal. Last week, after touring the JMTC facilities, Durbin spoke with Army Secretary John McHugh who assured him that there are no current p… Continue Reading


Durbin: Fighting Hunger Must Remain a Priority

[DECATUR, IL] - As the economy in Decatur continues to struggle, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited a local Summer Food Service Program site to discuss hunger and the rising demand for food pantry services with area food bank and food pantry representatives. "The struggling economy has put a strain on family budgets throughout Illinois," Durbin, a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, said. "Formerly middle-class families who have had a rough few years are increasingly turning to their … Continue Reading


America's Great Outdoors: Deputy Secretary Hayes, Senator Durbin Announce Designation of 41 New National Recreation Trails

[CHICAGO, IL] - Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the designation of 41 trails in 17 states as National Recreation Trails, adding almost 650 miles of trails to the National Trails System. The announcement came in advance of National Trails Day on June 4, when hundreds of organized activities including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications will take place nat… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Education Department's Gainful Employment Rule

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after reviewing the final version of the Gainful Employment rule on for-profit colleges that the Department of Education released earlier today. "This rule may stop the worst violators among the predatory for-profit schools but it will not protect thousands of young students who are being burdened with debt by many worthless diploma mills. If we are serious about protecting taxpayers and students, we… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Announce Federal Grant to Prevent Layoffs at Waukegan Fire Department

[WAUKEGAN, IL] - The Waukegan Fire Department will be able to retain five fully trained and qualified firefighters as a result of a $1,229,990 federal grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) said today. The Waukegan Fire Department is being awarded the grant to pay the salaries and benefit costs of five additional firefighters for two years. "The firefighters here today embody public service-they are prepared and wi… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Rock Island Arsenal's Future Following Call with Army Secretary McHugh

[ROCK ISLAND, IL] - United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after speaking to the Secretary of the Army about the future of Rock Island Arsenal: "I had a positive conversation with Secretary McHugh today about the status and future of Rock Island Arsenal. Secretary McHugh said that there are no plans to close or relocate the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. The Army is reviewing every program within the Material Command for ways to save… Continue Reading


Durbin Opens District Office in Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) hosted an open house celebrating the grand opening of his new district office in Rock Island, Illinois today. The office will assist residents of 20 counties in Western and North Central Illinois with issues related to the federal government. The Rock Island location is the newest addition to Senator Durbin's offices throughout the state, which include Chicago, Springfield, and Carbondale."With a new physical presence in Rock Island, I look for… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Eligible Veterans to Apply for Caregiver Benefits

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - The families of America's most seriously wounded warriors who have taken on the enormous task of caring for their loved ones can now apply through the Department of Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver Program for assistance, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The Family Caregiver Program provides technical, financial and practical support to family caregivers of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seriously injured in the line of duty. Earlier this month, the Department of … Continue Reading


Illinois / Iowa Delegation Seeks Substantive Answers from Army on Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In a letter sent today by the bi-state delegation that represents the Rock Island Arsenal, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Bruce Braley (D-IA-01), and Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) pushed for substantive answers to questions surrounding the future of the Rock Island Arsenal from General Ann Dunwoody, Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Following the letter the same … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Evanston Mayor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed community health centers and other local issues with Evanston Mayor, Elizabeth Tisdahl. Mayor Tisdahl was in Washington, D.C. along with Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, and Erie Family Health Center CEO, Dr. Lee Francis. Photos from today's meeting can be seen on the Senator's website. Related Links Photo of the meeting can be found Here.… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Quick Action After CPSC Recalls Hazardous Pool Drain Covers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged families and pool operators to be aware of a recent voluntary recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of pool and spa drain covers. According to the CPSC, the drain covers from eight different manufacturers were incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover, which could pose a hazard to swimmers and bathers. "As thousands of local pools across the country get ready to open for Memorial Day wee… Continue Reading


Illinois & Iowa Delegations Call for Meeting with Army Secretary to Discuss Reports of Possible JMTC Closure at Rock Island Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that an internal task force at the Army Materiel Command (AMC) is considering relocating Rock Island Arsenal's Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC), a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations called for a meeting with the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, as soon as possible to discuss their concerns about the cost associated with conducting such a move as well as the impact it would have on the Rock… Continue Reading


Durbin, Cohen and Others Introduce Legislation to Restore Fairness in Student Lending

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Al Franken (D-MN) today joined U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Danny Davis (D-IL), George Miller (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI) to introduce legislation in both the Senate and the House that will restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. Before changes were made to the bankruptcy code in 2005, only government is… Continue Reading


Durbin: Illinois Among Finalists in Innovative Race to the Top Education Reform Competition

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Department of Education has named Illinois among nine finalists for a continuation of its Race to the Top competition. The Race to the Top Fund provides competitive grants to encourage and reward states like Illinois that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform. In 2010, Illinois was a finalist in both rounds of competition, but did not win a grant. "Maintaining the sta… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on Funding for Programs that Aid Small Businesses and Distressed Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired an Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the FY12 budgets of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI) Fund today, where he highlighted the important work these agencies do to improve our economy and our communities. "In the face of recent pressure to reduce the federal deficit, I've made it a priority to maintain investments in SBA and CDFI progr… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Former Lithuanian President Landsbergis

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Vytautas Landsbergis, the first president of Lithuania and current member of the European Parliament. Landsbergis was joined by a number of senior Lithuanian officials. Today's meeting follows the EU's Monday announcement that revealed toughened sanctions against Lithuania's neighbor county, Belarus. The new sanctions extended asset freezes and travel restrictions to thirteen additional Belarusian offici… Continue Reading

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