Press Releases


Durbin Introduces Bill to Protect Medicare Card Holders from Identity Theft

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced legislation to require the federal government to remove Social Security numbers from Medicare identification cards and communications to Medicare beneficiaries. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which administers the Medicare program, has fallen behind most other public and private organizations in recognizing the danger of displaying Social Security numbers. The Social Security Number Protection Act ensure… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Plan to Begin Drawdown of US Forces in Afghanistan

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement tonight, after President Obama announced plans to begin the drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan: "The President's announcement that we will withdraw 30,000 of our 100,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer is a step towards the end of this long war." "We invaded Afghanistan to end al Qaeda and with the killing of Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, we have accomplish… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Agreement that Will Allow FRA to Obligate $133 Million in Funds for Englewood Flyover

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released a statement after Norfolk Southern (NS), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Amtrak reached an development agreement will bring Federal Railroad Administration one step closer to obligating $133 million in funding for the Englewood Flyover. This agreement will move the project forward and help prevent any future attempts by House Republicans to rescind this funding that was appropriated through the Recovery Act.… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $175,000 in FEMA Grants to 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 three grants totaling $178,070 to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois. "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 equipped with the best tools possi… Continue Reading


Durbin Votes to Confirm Leon Panetta as New Secretary of Defense

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Just before the Senate unanimously confirmed Leon Panetta as the next Secretary of Defense today, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on the floor of the United States Senate to express his strong support of Panetta's nomination. Earlier this month, Durbin met with Panetta to discuss his nomination, concerns about an internal Army task force potentially recommending closure of the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC) at Rock Island Arsenal, and Durbin's DREAM A… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Shimkus, Johnson, Schock, Schilling Ask Air Force to Explore Flying Missions for the 183rd Fighter Wing

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today were joined by Congressmen John Shimkus (R-IL-19), Tim Johnson (R-IL-15), Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) and Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17) in sending a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley asking that a flying mission be identified for the Illinois Air National Guard's 183rd Fighter Wing in Springfield. In addition, the Illinois members asked that the 183rd be given an extension to continue firefighting capabili… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $460,000 in USDA Grants for Small Business Development

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development division has awarded a total of $466,000 in Rural Business Enterprise Grant funding to local organizations in Henderson, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Marion, and Peoria counties. "Small businesses play an important role in putting rural Illinoisans back to work," said Durbin "This funding invests in the small businesses that will drive our economic recovery." Ea… Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Legislation to Protect Taxpayer Investment

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation on Thursday that would protect taxpayer investment in major infrastructure projects when local and state governments privatize roads, airports and other transportation facilities. The Protecting Taxpayers in Transportation Asset Transfers Act would also require increased transparency and public involvement before major transportation projects can be leased or sold. "The federal government provides states and local governm… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Congressional Responsibility in Matters of War

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the floor of the United States Senate about Congress' responsibility in matters of war, currently our involvement in Libya. Throughout his tenure in Congress, regardless of who was in the White House, Durbin has consistently argued that Congress should have a voice in determining when the United States sends its sons and daughters into armed conflict. "I think the President is right in what he is doing in Libya," said Durbin… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $21 Million in DOT Funding for O'Hare Noise Mitigation

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded $20,900,000 in funding to Ridgewood High School District 234 for measures aimed at mitigating noise from O'Hare International Airport. Today's grant follows a Federal Aviation Administration review of a 2009 decision stating that the Ridgewood High School did not qualify for sound insulation. "Today's funding will help create a better learning environment for our… Continue Reading


Durbin Responds to Judiciary Committee Republicans' Request for Hearings on Balanced Budget Amendment

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and the other Republican members of the Judiciary Committee today, in response to their request for hearings on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Durbin, Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, raised concerns about the manner in which hearings were requested, but agreed to the request. "I was surprised to… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a Nearly $200,000 FEMA Grant to Joliet 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 $197,200 in a grant for operations and safety to the Joliet Municipal Fire Department in Joliet, Illinois. "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 equipped with the… Continue Reading


Durbin, Local Business Owners Call for Prompt Federal Reserve Action on Swipe Fee Regulations

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - In the wake of a Senate vote earlier this week defeating the big banks' attempt to delay new limitations on the swipe fees that small businesses pay on every debit card sale, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today called on the Federal Reserve to act quickly to issue the final rules needed in order for the law to take effect and small business owners to begin to get relief. A Durbin-authored amendment to help reduce the soaring cost of interchange or "swipe" fees was signed into … Continue Reading


Durbin Commends United Airlines for Pledging to Bring 1,300 Jobs to Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today responded to United Continental Holding's decision to bring 1,300 jobs to Chicago by the end of next year. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the decision to bring the mostly technology and operations-focused jobs to the city earlier today alongside United CEO Jeff Smisek. "Today's decision shows United's commitment to our great city and reinforces Chicago's position as a premier American transportation hub," said Durbin. "These 1… Continue Reading


Illinois / Iowa Delegation Sends Letter to the President on the Assistant Secretary at the Office for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology

[WASHINGTON, DC] - The bi-state delegation that represents the Rock Island Arsenal, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) along with Congressmen Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Bruce Braley (D-IA-01) and Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) today sent a letter to President Barack Obama following Dr. Malcolm O'Neill's recent resignation as the U.S. Army Assistant Secretary at the Office for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, ASA (ALT). In their letter, th… Continue Reading


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

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