Press Releases


Durbin Asks FEMA and Army Corps to Explain Status of Levees in Metro East

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Army Corps of Engineers to publicly release the data on the status of Metro East levees and make both agencies available to brief local community leaders and residents. "Understanding the structural integrity of the levees in the Metro East area and the risk to those living behind them is fundamentally important to my constituents: hundreds of thousands … Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate-Passed Health Care Bill Provides Quality, Affordable Coverage for Additional 1.1 Million Illinoisans

[CHICAGO, IL] - Nearly 1.1 million uninsured Illinoisans and 30 million people across the nation are on track to gain access to quality, affordable healthcare coverage as a result of the historic reform bill passed by the U.S. Senate last month, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was approved by the Senate in a vote of 60-39 on December 24th. The Senate bill builds on what works in our current system and takes the necessary steps to cor… Continue Reading


Durbin: Flood Maps Will Not Take Effect Until 2011

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that, at his urging, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has agreed to delay the implementation of the new flood maps for the St. Louis region for at least one year. Durbin also announced that he will be introducing comprehensive legislation in the Senate within the next few months to protect residents and businesses in the event of a major flood. "FEMA's decision today will help property owne… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on the Senate Passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the Senate passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a vote of 60 -39. "For centuries, during this time of year, people would gather with their family and friends, light a candle and look for signs of hope. This morning's vote in the United States Senate lit a candle of hope for millions of Americans who went to bed last night without the protection of hea… Continue Reading


Durbin Legislation to Expand Congenital Heart Disease Research Included in Senate Health Care Legislation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that portions of his bipartisan legislation to increase awareness, education and research into congenital heart disease - a rapidly growing national health problem. The Congenital Heart Futures Act aims to prevent premature death and disability and increase the quality of life for the nearly 1.8 million people in the United States living with congenital heart disease. Durbin introduced the legislat… Continue Reading


Durbin Discusses Historic Health Care Vote on the Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke today on the floor of the United States Senate about the need for health care reform. Durbin cited the rapidly rising cost of health insurance as reason the current system is in need of reform. "I think when the history of the United States senate is written, this vote will be included, because it is a historic vote," said Durbin. "We considered many issues in the United States Senate of great importance to indi… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves $45.4 Million in Defense Funding for Projects in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the United States Senate has approved $45,400,000 in federal funding to assist defense related facilities and projects across Illinois. Durbin is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. The legislation will now go to President Obama for his signature. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 defense spending bill includes funding for the following projects: • Columbia College Chic… Continue Reading


Durbin Forwards New Recommendation for U.S. Marshal to White House

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] -U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today forwarded a new name to the White House for consideration when filling the U.S. Marshal position in the Northern District of Illinois - Darryl McPherson, who currently serves as a Deputy U.S. Marshall Senior Inspector. The candidate whose name was previously sent to the White House, Kenton Terrell, this week withdrew his name from active consideration due to family reasons. Durbin was able to quickly select a new name because of the … Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Comprehensive Plan to Combat Asian Carp

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged leaders in the effort to prevent the Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes to work together to establish and convey to Congress a long-term, comprehensive Asian carp eradication plan. Identical letters were sent to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy; Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, Thad Allen; Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson; and… Continue Reading


Durbin, Illinois Delegation: High Speed Rail Funding Will Have Greatest Impact in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the entire Illinois Congressional Delegation made the case that the federal funding available for high speed rail would have the greatest impact on Illinois. The Illinois Members wrote: Illinois has spearheaded a regional effort in the Midwest to build an integrated high speed rail network. These Midwest states have already completed careful planning and made si… Continue Reading


Durbin's Human Rights Enforcement Act Passes House, Sent to President for Signature

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bill that would create a new human rights section at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) was passed by the House of Representatives late yesterday and has been sent to the President for his signature. The bill, the Human Rights Enforcement Act, introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) was unanimously approved by the Senate last month. The legislation would combine the two offices in the Justice Department with juris… Continue Reading


Durbin, Illinois Delegation: Progress at Marion But Challenges Remain

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - During a meeting with members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), General Eric Shinseki, reported that several procedures have been revised at the Marion VA Medical Center and all problems identified by the Inspector General (IG) will be corrected by the end of the year. However, Secretary Shinseki cautioned that recruitment and retention of experienced personnel at Marion remains the greatest obstacle to stabi… Continue Reading


Durbin, Quinn Praise Administration Decision to Purchase Thomson Correctional Center

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today praised the decision by the Obama Administration to proceed with the acquisition of a state of the art correctional facility in Thomson, Illinois. "Thomson Correctional Center - a high security prison - has been sitting empty for eight years. The Obama Administration has put forward a plan to make it the safest prison in America and we are pleased that they have made this decision… Continue Reading


Durbin Commends Decision to Invent $13 Million in Efforts to Prevent Asian Carp From Entering Great Lakes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today commended the decision by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, to allocate $13 million in funding through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to prevent Asian carp from migrating further toward the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a new interagency initiative led by the EPA to address the most significant challenges to the Great Lakes including invasiv… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves Official Naming of Lovell Federal Health Care Center

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced that his language to officially name the Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago after Captain James A. Lovell was approved by the full Congress last night. The legislation was approved as part of the FY2010 Omnibus spending bill which has been sent to the President for his signature. "This is a great honor for a true American hero," said Durbin. "The story of Apollo 13 has been told many times, as a testa… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves Legislation Designed to Attract Medical Professionals to Rural VA Hospitalss

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that his legislation to help the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recruit and retain high-quality healthcare administrators and providers in rural areas was approved by Congress last night. The legislation was approved as part of the FY2010 Omnibus spending bill which has been sent to the President for his signature. "The care and well-being of our nation's veterans is of paramount importance to the … Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves More Than $126 Million in Funding For Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the final Omnibus spending bill which includes $126,432,544 in funding for several Illinois projects was approved by Congress. The bill will then go to the President for his signature. SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS: CHICAGO TRANSIT ($9,304,744): Today's legislation includes over $9.3 million in funding to advance the Circle line project in Chicago; expand capacity along the Chicago Transit Authority (CT… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on US-Japan Open Skies Agreement

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, announced that the United States and Japan had reached an Open-Skies aviation agreement. "The Open-Skies agreement with Japan will prove to be a huge benefit to U.S. businesses and consumers alike. Expanded air service between Chicago and Japan will give U.S. air travelers greater access to Asian markets, increase choices for co… Continue Reading


Durbin, Quinn Reaction to Draft White House Memo on Thomson Correctional Center

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn today issued the following statement after learning of a draft internal Obama Administration memo regarding the Thomson Correctional Center. "Late this afternoon, we learned of a draft internal Obama Administration memo signaling that the Administration has narrowed its focus to the Thomson Correctional Center to serve as a federal prison. We are told that the Administration has not made its … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Over $3 Million for Flood Protection in Machesney Park

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Village of Machesney Park will receive a $3,008,816 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for flood protection efforts in Machesney Park. After historic flooding last year, a Presidential Disaster Declaration was issued on June 24, 2008 when many of the structures in the Rock River floodplain were damaged beyond repair. "Today's funding is welcome news for the residents an… Continue Reading

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