Press Releases


Durbin Announces a More Than $675,000 FEMA Grant for Addison 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 a $677,250 grant to the Addison Fire Protection District #1 in Addison, Illinois, for the hiring of new firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. "Our nation's firefighters are called upon day after day to protect America's citizens," Durbin said. "As these brave men and women put th… Continue Reading


Durbin: White House Nominates Myerscough to Fill Federal Judgeship in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated Appellate Court Justice Sue Myerscough to fill a vacancy on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois (Springfield). The White House recently nominated James Shadid to fill a vacancy in Peoria. Last month, Durbin began accepting applications for a third vacancy in this district and asked a bipartisan screening committee to assist in selecting candidates. "Sue Myerscough… Continue Reading


Durbin, Lautenberg Warn Tobacco Companies Not to Engage in Misleading Cigarette Advertising

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) today urged four major tobacco companies not to engage in any effort to mislead customers to believe they are buying safer cigarettes. Last year, Congress passed landmark legislation that banned using descriptors in cigarette labeling - such as "light," "mild," or "low-tar" - which insinuate or imply that certain products are healthier or lower risk than regular cigarettes. Research has definitively shown that alt… Continue Reading


Durbin Writes Clinton on US Support of Somali Government, Child Soldiers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today asking her to look into reports that U.S. financial support to the Somali Transitional Federal Government is being used to pay for the use of child soldiers - potentially a violation of U.S. law. Durbin's letter follows a report by the New York Times that the Somali government has hundreds of child soldiers on its front lines, some as young as 9 years old. "I write w… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on the Payment of Interchange Fees by the Federal Government

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired an oversight hearing today on the federal government's payment of interchange fees. The hearing follows the release of a Treasury Department report which concluded that the federal government could save nearly $40 million a year of taxpayer dollars if Treasury were allowed to negotiate interchange rates with … Continue Reading


Amtrak is Working on the Railroad in Chicago

CHICAGO - Amtrak is using $115 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve tracks, buildings and control systems in Chicago this construction season, as part of a $1 billion construction program to fund capital projects designed to rebuild the critical infrastructure of America's Railroad. "We are investing in our infrastructure in Chicago to improve our operations and support the growing demand to travel by Amtrak," said President and CEO Joseph Boardman… Continue Reading


Durbin and Gutierrez Vow to Restore Fairness to Electronic Payment System

[CHICAGO, IL] - As the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate begin ironing out the differences in their respective Wall Street reform bills, U.S. Representative Luis Gutierrez today announced his support for an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to help reduce the interchange or "swipe" fees that small businesses pay on every credit and debit card sale. Durbin's amendment was included in the Senate's Wall Street reform bill, but was not included in the House-passed bil… Continue Reading


Following Meeting With Labor Secretary, Durbin Calls on Peabody Energy to Explain Safety Violations at Willow Lake Mine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Chairman and CEO of Peabody Energy to explain what steps the company is taking to improve safety and reduce violations of mine safety standards at Willow Lake mine near Equality, IL. Earlier, Durbin spoke with the Secretary of the Department of Labor, Hilda Solis, about the agency's decision to expedite a hearing to review several "significant and substantial" safety violations that are being contested by the company. … Continue Reading


Durbin: University of Illinois to Receive Nearly $800,000 in Research Funding

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded $799,200 in federal grant funding to the University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois, to help fund the Illinois Height Modernization Program (ILHMP).The ILHMP aims to establish a statewide network of survey benchmarks and acquire a high-resolution digital elevation model of the Earth's surface. The funding will allow the … Continue Reading


Durbin: 150,000 Illinois Seniors Will Soon Receive Federal Rebate to Help Pay for Costly Medications

[CHICAGO, IL] - Illinois seniors who have fallen into the Medicare Part D coverage gap known as the "donut hole" will soon receive $250 rebate checks from the federal government, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) told seniors gathered at the Northwest side Copernicus Center today. The rebate checks are one of the immediate benefits of the new health care reform law and by the end of the year will be sent to roughly 150,000 Illinoisans in the donut hole to help pay for their medications. … Continue Reading


After Recent Discovery of EAB in Winnebago County, Durbin Asks USDA to Assist Illinois in Response Efforts

[WASHINGTON, DC] - After learning of the newest discovery of Emerald Ash Borer in Winnebago County, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) today requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in responding to the infestation. Assistance may include resources for surveillance activities, deploying traps, setting up and enforcing compliance agreements and quarantine areas. This year, the State of Illinois has already added two additional counties to its quarantine area and … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More than $1.25 Million in NEH Grants for Illinois Organizations

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded 7 grants totaling $1,265,227 to 6 Illinois organizations. Several of these organizations have been recognized by the NEH for advancing the goals of its We the People program. The We the People program encourages and strengthens the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. Today's grants were awarded through a highly competitive revi… Continue Reading


Durbin Corrects Banking Lobby's Arguments on Interchange... Again

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter today to the CEO's of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the Credit Union Nation Association (CUNA), Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) again corrected arguments the two financial service associations have made against his reasonable reforms of the interchange fee system. "I write to express my disappointment at the claims your associations continue to make in your efforts to block reasonable regulation of the interc… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves U.S. Attorney Nominee in Central District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, unanimously approved James Lewis to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Central District of Illinois. His nomination will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate. "James Lewis brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of U.S. Attorney," said Durbin. "It was an honor to recommend his name to President Obama and I look forward to joining my Sena… Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Resolution Praising Stanley Cup Champions Chicago Blackhawks

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced a resolution congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2010 Stanley Cup. Late last night, the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 4-3 in Game 6 of the National Hockey League's Championship Series. Senator Roland Burris (D-IL) cosponsored today's resolution. Text of the Senate Resolution is below: Congratulating the Chicago Blackhawks on winning the 2… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Ambassador to Key U.S. Ally

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Timothy Roemer, the United States Ambassador to India - the most populous democracy in the world and a key ally - to discuss the relationship between the U.S. and India. This is the first time Durbin has met with Roemer in his capacity as Ambassador. "Over the last year, Ambassador Roemer has worked to strengthen the already strong friendship between the United States and India," said Durbin. "It w… Continue Reading


Durbin Says New Report Clearly Demonstrates Need for Food Safety Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today that the recently released National Academy of Sciences report, "Enhancing Food Safety: The Role of the FDA" highlights the need for an overhaul of the nation's current food safety system. The 500-page report highlights several shortcomings at Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including: outdated legal authority for the agency - specifically no mandatory recall authority or ability to ban food im… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $365,000 in FEMA Grants for Illinois Fire Departments

[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 6 grants totaling $365,152 to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois for operations and safety. "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 equippe… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $5 Million in USDA Funding Available for Hunger Relief

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has made $5 million in grant funding available for investment in research, planning and various hunger relief activities to help end hunger in America. Legislation authored by Senator Durbin and included in the 2007 Farm Bill created the new Hunger-Free Communities grant program which aims to assess hunger in individual communities, promote coop… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $2 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Weatherization Training Centers in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded two grants totaling $1,959,635 for weatherization training center development and expansion projects through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, Illinois, will receive $1,000,000 and the Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, will receive $959,635 to develop training centers.The weatheri… Continue Reading

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