Press Releases


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


Durbin, Kirk and Delegation Call on President to Provide 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 in sending a letter to President Obama asking him to issue a major disaster declaration for the State of Illinois and to provide relief to the 14 Southern Illinois counties affected by a series of severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in April and May. A Presidential disaster declaration would allow cities and counties to apply for federal reimbursements to … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces FEMA Grant for Flood Protection Efforts in Gurnee

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the City of Gurnee has been awarded a $2,428,463 grant for from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood protection efforts in Gurnee, Illinois. The funding will be used to purchase and remove the old Gurnee Elementary School which has been damaged beyond repair by repeated flooding. The property will be returned to green space, allowing flooding from the Des Plaines River to occur without damage to proper… Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes AIPAC President as Special Guest to Joint Session of Congress with Israeli PM

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the President of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Chicago native Lee Rosenberg, as his guest to an address by the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to a joint session of Congress. Durbin, the Assistant Senate Majority Leader, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a member of the council that oversees the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum, met with Rosenberg prior to the jo… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Quigley Tour Chicago River in Wake of EPA Decision Calling for Improved Water Quality Standards

[CHICAGO, IL] - More stringent water quality standards are needed on the Chicago River to create a safer and healthier waterway for generations to come, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said following a boat tour today. Durbin was joined on the tour by U.S. Senator Mark Kirk, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region V Administrator Susan Hedman."Discharging sewage that has not been disinfected into the Chicago River is… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk: FERC Decision on Quincy Appeal Extremely Disappointing

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today expressed disappointment in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision to deny Quincy's appeal and stop the city from moving forward with the hydroelectric power plant at Lock and Dam 21. "The decision in February to halt the City of Quincy's work the on a hydroelectric power plant came as a shock. Though the City had been in regular contact with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Quincy was … Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Bill to Aid Reforestation Efforts in Haiti

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced legislation to aid reforestation efforts in Haiti. Once covered by thick tropical forest, Haiti is now 98 percent deforested. That deforestation has caused widespread soil erosion; the destruction of natural barriers from hurricanes; and contributes to widespread and abject poverty. The Haiti Reforestation Act seeks to end the rapid and near total deforestation of the island-nation and restore Haiti's na… Continue Reading


Remarks in Support for the Nomination of Goodwin Liu

I rise in support of the nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu to serve on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Liu has been nominated to fill a seat that has been vacant since January 2009. This vacancy has been declared a judicial emergency by the non-partisan Administrative Office of the United States Courts. So no one questions that this seat needs to be filled. Professor Liu is eminently qualified And no one can seriously question Professor Li… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $9,000 FEMA Grant to Monmouth Fire Department

[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 $9,500 in a grant for fire prevention to the Monmouth Fire Department. The Monmouth Fire Department has two stations and protects 10,000 Illinoisans. "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 … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Over $5 Million in Department of Labor Grants for Illinois Youth

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has awarded five grants totaling in $5,499,644 to YouthBuild organizations throughout Illinois. YouthBuild assists out-of-school youth in obtaining their diplomas or GEDs while providing occupational training in the construction industry. Participants in the program include individuals who have been in the juvenile justice system, youth aging out of foster care, high school dropouts and … Continue Reading


Durbin Asks State of Illinois to Comply with EPA Decision on Water Quality Standards for Chicago River

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After a briefing from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Lisa Jackson, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today asked the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to strengthen its water quality standards for the Chicago and Calumet Rivers as soon as possible. Yesterday, American Rivers - a national environmental group - named the Chicago River among the ten most endangered rivers in the country. The group estimates that sewage comprises roug… Continue Reading


Durbin Raises Concerns with FDA About Melatonin in Baked Goods

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today raised concerns with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about baked goods containing neurohormone melatonin that, because they are marketed as dietary supplements, do not require approval by the FDA for use as additives in food. Durbin asked the FDA to clarify its authority to regulate foods that contain additives, such as baked good that contain high doses of melatonin. "Products with names such as Lazy Cakes, Kush Cakes, and L… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Four Other Senators in Asking for Investigation into Gasoline Price-Fixing

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - As the average gas price remains above $4.00 per gallon in Illinois and climbing to nearly $5.00 per gallon in some parts of the state, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined four other Senators in asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate potential price fixing of gasoline by U.S. refiners. Later today, the Senate will vote on a bill that would eliminate tax breaks and subsidies for big oil companies and divert the $21 billion in savings over the next … Continue Reading


Durbin: EPA Decision is an Important Opportunity to Make Chicago River Accessible for Generations to Come

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require improved water quality standards for the Chicago River is an important opportunity to make this iconic waterway accessible to generations of boaters, kayakers and even swimmers. Durbin also pledged to work with MWRD, the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois to identify federal resources that can be made available to meet the EPA's new standard. "Disch… Continue Reading


Durbin, Lautenberg, Harkin Call Tobacco CEO Comments: "Reckless and Scientifically Inaccurate"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) today set the record straight on the addictive nature of cigarettes after hearing a statement by the CEO of Philip Morris International, Louis Camilleri, claiming that while smoking cigarettes is addictive, "it is not that hard to quit." In reality, a 2010 Surgeon General's report indicates that in recent years tobacco companies have altered cigarettes to make them more addictive. "As the CE… Continue Reading


Durbin and Hinchey Introduce Bill to Protect America's Red Rock Wilderness

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In an effort to preserve 9.1 million acres of Utah's spectacular red rock country as wilderness, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today introduced legislation in the Senate and House that would ensure the public land remains in its natural, undeveloped state. Durbin and Hinchey's bipartisan America's Red Rock Wilderness Act, which was introduced with 66 cosponsors in the House and three in the Senate, would protect the land from commerc… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Rock Island Resident's Nomination for Federal Judgeship in the 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, has unanimously approved Sara Darrow for a federal judgeship on the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. Her nomination will now proceed to a vote by the full Senate."Ms. Darrow has an impressive record of service in the Rock Island area, prosecuting some of the most challenging cases, said Durbin. "Having served with distinction as a state and … Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Sears to Remain in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged Sears Holding Corp. to remain at its headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and offered assistance as Sears' evaluation process moves forward. Citing the company's long history with Illinois and the 6,000 people employed at its headquarters, Durbin encouraged the President and CEO of Sears, Louis D'Ambrosio, to look for ways to continue to grow that partnership."Sears has had a long history with Illinois beginning with Sears and Roebu… Continue Reading

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