Press Releases


Durbin, Kirk: President Issues Major Disaster Declaration for State of Illinois

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that President Obama has made a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois triggering the release of federal funds to help communities recover from the severe winter storm and snow storm which occurs January 31 - February 3, 2011. "Although the snow has been cleared and the storms are long gone, residents and business owners are still facing a mountain of challenges. This Presidential disaster … Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Ask Attorney General to Clearly State that No Prisoners from Guantanamo Bay Will Be Transferred to Thomson

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today asked Attorney General, Eric Holder, to clearly state that his Administration has no intention of transferring prisoners from Guantanamo Bay to Thomson Correctional Center so that Congress can focus its efforts on acquiring and operating Thomson as a maximum-security federal prison. The activation of Thomson Correctional Center by the federal government is expected to create more than 1,100 jobs and inject at least… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk Urge NASA to Select Adler Planetarium for Space Shuttle Orbiter

[WASHINGTON D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) are urging the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to select Adler Planetarium for one of three retired space shuttle orbiters for public exhibition. "The Adler Planetarium is America's first Planetarium and a world-renowned science museum located on the shorelines of Lake Michigan. More than five million guests are welcomed at Museum Campus each year, and Chicago Museums create an annual economic im… Continue Reading


Durbin and Illinois Delegation to Meet with Governor Quinn to Discuss Illinois Job Creation and Investment

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation met with the Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, to discuss ways in which the Delegation can work together to help create jobs and invest in Illinois. Prior to today's meeting with the Delegation, Durbin and Quinn met with the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration, Joe Szabo, to discuss the progress of high speed rail in Illinois. Last month, after the Governor of Florida re… Continue Reading


Response to the Wall Street Journal's Editorial on Swipe Fee Reform

Mr. DURBIN. Mr. President, I usually do not get up in the morning and race to read the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. It is not part of my morning routine. I do not agree with them on most of the positions they have taken and I have found many times the statements they make are sometimes grossly inaccurate. This morning was no exception. They printed an editorial on the issue of interchange fees on debit cards. They had some critical things to say, which is their right, and my… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Passing of Jim Tyree

[Washington, DC] U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today on the passing of Jim Tyree: "Jim Tyree's determination and positive view of life inspired me and all he met. I will never forget Jim walking into my office only a few weeks after a double-organ transplant to tell me he was diabetes-free for the first time in his adult life and urging me to support stem-cell research and diabetes research to spare others the ordeal he had borne. After all his many battl… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Illinois Farm Groups to Discuss Agriculture Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with members of the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Corn Growers and the Illinois Soybean Association to discuss agricultural priorities including improving the infrastructure along the Mississippi River which is the backbone of Illinois' waterway transportation system - transporting $12 billion worth of products each year, including over 1 billion bushels of grain to ports around the world. After today's meeting, Durbin, a… Continue Reading


Swipe Fee Reform

This week, we are considering legislation on the Senate floor that affects small businesses. I want to talk about another issue very important to small businesses; that is, the topic of interchange fees, also known as swipe fees. Last week, nearly 200 small businesses came to Washington, DC, from Illinois and from all across America. They came to stand up in support of the reform of interchange fees, swipe fees, that Congress passed last year. They came to stand up to the major credit car… Continue Reading


Durbin: Decision on CN Appeal Strengthens Role of Surface Transportation Board

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after a federal appeals court upheld a decision by the Surface Transportation Board that requiring the Canadian National (CN) to pay seventy-eight and a half percent of the cost of specific mitigation efforts in Lynwood, Illinois and sixty-seven percent of specific mitigation efforts in Aurora, Illinois - estimated at $68 million total. "This decision finally cements Canadian National's commitments to pa… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a $2 Million CDC Grant for Research in Chicago That Aims to Reduce Infections

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded a $2 million grant to a joint collaborative between the Cook County Health and Hospital System and the Rush University Medical Center to support efforts to develop and test innovative approaches to reducing infections in health care setting. This funding is part of the CDC's Prevention Epicenter grant program, which awarded $10 million nationwide today. … Continue Reading


Durbin Launches New Website, Joins Facebook and Twitter

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that he has officially launched a modern and easy-to-use website to improve communications with his constituents. The completely redesigned website,, will provide Illinoisans with quick access to an enlarged library of videos, photos, information, and legislation as well as offer the ability to easily share content with friends and family. "People across Illinois, the… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Efforts to Delay Implementation of New Interchange Fee Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement today on legislative efforts to delay implementation of common sense reforms to the interchange fee system: "Every month we delay limiting the amount banks and credit card companies charge merchants means another $1.3 billion bailout for Visa, MasterCard and their big bank allies. The $13 trillion banking industry doesn't need another handout - especially one paid for by small business and… Continue Reading


Durbin Writes Letter in Support of Dr. Muhammad Yunus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote a letter to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, voicing strong concern over the recent dismissal of Professor Muhammad Yunus as Managing Director of Grameen Bank. Yunus, winner of the Noble Peace Prize, founded Grameen Bank in 1983 as a microfinance and community development bank focused on making small loans to Bangladesh's poor population. The circumstances surrounding Dr. Yunus' dismissal are suspect and have… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Bicameral Delegation to Announce Formation of High-Speed and Intercity Rail Caucus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined the founding members of the Bi-Cameral High- Speed & Intercity Passenger Rail Caucus to announce the formation of a coalition that will serve as the leading advocates to advance high-speed and intercity rail programs across the country. The caucus - which also includes as Co-Chairs, Representatives Louise Slaughter (NY-28) Corrine Brown (FL-3), Zoe Lofgren (CA-16), David Price (NC-4), Tim Walz (MN-1) and John Olver (MA-1)… Continue Reading


For-profit Colleges

I have come to the Senate floor a number of times over the past year to speak about my concerns about the rapid growth of for-profit colleges. I believe some for-profit colleges are quality institutions, but I also believe many are taking advantage of Federal taxpayer dollars and doing more harm than good for unsuspecting students. In no area is this issue more important than when it comes to our veterans. A few years ago, I proudly joined Senator James Webb of Virginia, who said to me wh… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks 60 Accrediting Agencies for Explanation of Standards They Use to Ensure Quality at Colleges and Universities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today wrote to 60 accrediting agencies around the country asking for an explanation of the accreditation standards to better understand the role they play in holding colleges and universities to high academic standards. Durbin's request comes after recent Congressional hearings and media reports that have highlighted serious problems with for-profit colleges and universities. "Accreditation agencies such as yours serve as the gateway to fed… Continue Reading


Agreement Reached to Expand Capacity at O’Hare and Foster Economic Growth Nationwide

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, executives from United Airlines and American Airlines and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk announced today a $1.17 billion agreement that will allow the O'Hare Modernization Program to move forward, add runway capacity, and prevent flight delays from growing to unacceptable levels. With this agreement between the City of Chicago and American and United Airlines in place, work can begin on an additio… Continue Reading


Public Broadcaster Funding

I have been around Congress a few years. When I served in the House of Representatives 16 years ago, the Republicans won control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. They promised to change how business was done in Washington and they elected Newt Gingrich of Georgia as Speaker of the House. On his first day on the job, Speaker Gingrich addressed a black tie dinner of happy supporters and took aim at an enemy he said was undermining America's values, and that enemy was Big Bird. Ne… Continue Reading


Durbin: $4 Gas Prices are a Wake-Up Call for Nation

[Chicago, IL] "Our addiction to oil is costing American families millions at the gas pump while enslaving us to political dictators in the Middle East and North Africa," U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. "These rapidly rising prices are a wake-up call for our nation." Gas prices are nearing a two-year high and continue to rise. Here in Chicago, prices are pushing $4 per gallon in many spots and have risen by 11 percent-36 cents-in just the last month. "Working families just sta… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schakowsky Introduce Bill Requiring HHS to Negotiate Drug Pricing in Medicare Part D

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2011, H.R. 999 in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Ranking members of the House who have co-sponsored: Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), George Miller (D-CA) and Pete Stark (D-CA). Senate co-sponsors include Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The Medicare Prescription Drug Sa… Continue Reading

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