Press Releases


Durbin: Fighting Hunger Must Remain a Priority

[DECATUR, IL] - As the economy in Decatur continues to struggle, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) visited a local Summer Food Service Program site to discuss hunger and the rising demand for food pantry services with area food bank and food pantry representatives. "The struggling economy has put a strain on family budgets throughout Illinois," Durbin, a co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, said. "Formerly middle-class families who have had a rough few years are increasingly turning to their … Continue Reading


America's Great Outdoors: Deputy Secretary Hayes, Senator Durbin Announce Designation of 41 New National Recreation Trails

[CHICAGO, IL] - Deputy Secretary of the Interior David J. Hayes and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the designation of 41 trails in 17 states as National Recreation Trails, adding almost 650 miles of trails to the National Trails System. The announcement came in advance of National Trails Day on June 4, when hundreds of organized activities including hikes, educational programs, bike rides, trail rehabilitation projects, festivals, paddle trips, and trail dedications will take place nat… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Education Department's Gainful Employment Rule

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after reviewing the final version of the Gainful Employment rule on for-profit colleges that the Department of Education released earlier today. "This rule may stop the worst violators among the predatory for-profit schools but it will not protect thousands of young students who are being burdened with debt by many worthless diploma mills. If we are serious about protecting taxpayers and students, we… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Announce Federal Grant to Prevent Layoffs at Waukegan Fire Department

[WAUKEGAN, IL] - The Waukegan Fire Department will be able to retain five fully trained and qualified firefighters as a result of a $1,229,990 federal grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) said today. The Waukegan Fire Department is being awarded the grant to pay the salaries and benefit costs of five additional firefighters for two years. "The firefighters here today embody public service-they are prepared and wi… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Rock Island Arsenal's Future Following Call with Army Secretary McHugh

[ROCK ISLAND, IL] - United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after speaking to the Secretary of the Army about the future of Rock Island Arsenal: "I had a positive conversation with Secretary McHugh today about the status and future of Rock Island Arsenal. Secretary McHugh said that there are no plans to close or relocate the Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center. The Army is reviewing every program within the Material Command for ways to save… Continue Reading


Durbin Opens District Office in Rock Island

ROCK ISLAND - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) hosted an open house celebrating the grand opening of his new district office in Rock Island, Illinois today. The office will assist residents of 20 counties in Western and North Central Illinois with issues related to the federal government. The Rock Island location is the newest addition to Senator Durbin's offices throughout the state, which include Chicago, Springfield, and Carbondale."With a new physical presence in Rock Island, I look for… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Eligible Veterans to Apply for Caregiver Benefits

[SPRINGFIELD, IL] - The families of America's most seriously wounded warriors who have taken on the enormous task of caring for their loved ones can now apply through the Department of Veterans Affairs' Family Caregiver Program for assistance, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. The Family Caregiver Program provides technical, financial and practical support to family caregivers of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans seriously injured in the line of duty. Earlier this month, the Department of … Continue Reading


Illinois / Iowa Delegation Seeks Substantive Answers from Army on Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, DC] - In a letter sent today by the bi-state delegation that represents the Rock Island Arsenal, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Congressman Bobby Schilling (R-IL-17), Bruce Braley (D-IA-01), and Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02) pushed for substantive answers to questions surrounding the future of the Rock Island Arsenal from General Ann Dunwoody, Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command (AMC). Following the letter the same … Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Evanston Mayor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) discussed community health centers and other local issues with Evanston Mayor, Elizabeth Tisdahl. Mayor Tisdahl was in Washington, D.C. along with Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz, and Erie Family Health Center CEO, Dr. Lee Francis. Photos from today's meeting can be seen on the Senator's website. Related Links Photo of the meeting can be found Here.… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges Quick Action After CPSC Recalls Hazardous Pool Drain Covers

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged families and pool operators to be aware of a recent voluntary recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) of pool and spa drain covers. According to the CPSC, the drain covers from eight different manufacturers were incorrectly rated to handle the flow of water through the cover, which could pose a hazard to swimmers and bathers. "As thousands of local pools across the country get ready to open for Memorial Day wee… Continue Reading


Illinois & Iowa Delegations Call for Meeting with Army Secretary to Discuss Reports of Possible JMTC Closure at Rock Island Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that an internal task force at the Army Materiel Command (AMC) is considering relocating Rock Island Arsenal's Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center (JMTC), a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the Illinois and Iowa Congressional Delegations called for a meeting with the Secretary of the Army, John McHugh, as soon as possible to discuss their concerns about the cost associated with conducting such a move as well as the impact it would have on the Rock… Continue Reading


Durbin, Cohen and Others Introduce Legislation to Restore Fairness in Student Lending

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Al Franken (D-MN) today joined U.S. Representatives Steve Cohen (D-TN), Danny Davis (D-IL), George Miller (D-CA) and John Conyers (D-MI) to introduce legislation in both the Senate and the House that will restore fairness in student lending by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private debt. Before changes were made to the bankruptcy code in 2005, only government is… Continue Reading


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

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