Press Releases


For-profit Colleges

I have come to the Senate floor a number of times over the past year to speak about my concerns about the rapid growth of for-profit colleges. I believe some for-profit colleges are quality institutions, but I also believe many are taking advantage of Federal taxpayer dollars and doing more harm than good for unsuspecting students. In no area is this issue more important than when it comes to our veterans. A few years ago, I proudly joined Senator James Webb of Virginia, who said to me wh… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks 60 Accrediting Agencies for Explanation of Standards They Use to Ensure Quality at Colleges and Universities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today wrote to 60 accrediting agencies around the country asking for an explanation of the accreditation standards to better understand the role they play in holding colleges and universities to high academic standards. Durbin's request comes after recent Congressional hearings and media reports that have highlighted serious problems with for-profit colleges and universities. "Accreditation agencies such as yours serve as the gateway to fed… Continue Reading


Agreement Reached to Expand Capacity at O’Hare and Foster Economic Growth Nationwide

[CHICAGO, IL] - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, executives from United Airlines and American Airlines and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk announced today a $1.17 billion agreement that will allow the O'Hare Modernization Program to move forward, add runway capacity, and prevent flight delays from growing to unacceptable levels. With this agreement between the City of Chicago and American and United Airlines in place, work can begin on an additio… Continue Reading


Public Broadcaster Funding

I have been around Congress a few years. When I served in the House of Representatives 16 years ago, the Republicans won control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. They promised to change how business was done in Washington and they elected Newt Gingrich of Georgia as Speaker of the House. On his first day on the job, Speaker Gingrich addressed a black tie dinner of happy supporters and took aim at an enemy he said was undermining America's values, and that enemy was Big Bird. Ne… Continue Reading


Durbin: $4 Gas Prices are a Wake-Up Call for Nation

[Chicago, IL] "Our addiction to oil is costing American families millions at the gas pump while enslaving us to political dictators in the Middle East and North Africa," U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today. "These rapidly rising prices are a wake-up call for our nation." Gas prices are nearing a two-year high and continue to rise. Here in Chicago, prices are pushing $4 per gallon in many spots and have risen by 11 percent-36 cents-in just the last month. "Working families just sta… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schakowsky Introduce Bill Requiring HHS to Negotiate Drug Pricing in Medicare Part D

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) introduced the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2011, H.R. 999 in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Ranking members of the House who have co-sponsored: Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), George Miller (D-CA) and Pete Stark (D-CA). Senate co-sponsors include Senators Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH). The Medicare Prescription Drug Sa… Continue Reading


Statement on Durbin-Lee Roving Wiretap Amendment to the PATRIOT Act

The Durbin-Lee amendment is simple, but important. It would require the government to describe the target of a roving wiretap "with particularity." The amendment would add just two words to the FISA roving wiretap statute - but these words would ensure that roving wiretaps are conducted in compliance with the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. And it's my understanding that our amendment would simply codify the Justice Department's current practice and interpretation of the law. So, it… Continue Reading


FEMA Administrator Agress to Senators’ Request to End “Without Levees" Policy in Modernizing Flood Maps

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Mark Pryor (D-AK) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) today praised the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s decision to end its current policy of disregarding some levees and flood control structures in its process of update Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate today informed the Senators that his agency has been directed to discontinue the practice of using "without levee… Continue Reading


Durbin Responds to OCC Chief on Interchange, Meets with Small Business About Benefits of Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter to the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, John Walsh, yesterday, in response to his recent comments about interchange reform. Durbin's letter corrected the record about what the new interchange law will and won't do, and urged the Acting Comptroller to study up on the new law and its benefits to consumers and small businesses. "I write regarding the comments that you submitted on March 4 to the Federal Re… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on HELP Committee Hearing Investigating For-Profit Colleges

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today submitted a statement for the record at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing chaired by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) on Bridgepoint Education, Inc, a for-profit college company. In his statement, Durbin focused on accreditation agencies which, he says, serve as the gateway to federal funding. "As Congress works to reduce the federal deficit, we are appropriately scrutinizing federal spending," Durbin said. "W… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Quad Cities Chamber and Labor Leaders to Discuss Regional Priorities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with leaders from the Quad Cities region who were in Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in to discuss their priorities including Rock Island Arsenal, Amtrak service to the Quad Cities and economic recovery. Durbin asked for the group's help in opposing H.R.1 funding cuts that eliminate all unobligated funding for current and future high speed rail projects. "The Quad Cities region does a great job of coming together across party… Continue Reading


Swipe Fee Reform

Last year, Congress enacted landmark reform of the swipe fees that Visa and MasterCard impose on the debit card system. An amendment I offered to Wall Street reform passed the Senate with 64 votes--47 Democrats, 17 Republicans--and was later signed into law. It was the first amendment out of the first 26 on that bill that was held to a 60-vote standard. Every other amendment before was held to a simple majority. But I was lucky enough, when I offered the amendment, that there was an insistence t… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $250,000 in FEMA Grants to Will and Kankakee Counties 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 $263,966 in grants to fire departments in Will and Kankakee Counties for hiring initiatives aimed at increasing the number of frontline 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 themselves in harm's way, we m… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $80,000 FEMA Grant to Springfield 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 $81,020 in a grant for operations and safety to the Springfield Fire Department. "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 possible to do … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces a More Than $60,000 FEMA Grant to Madison 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 $60,130 in a grant for operations and safety to the Madison Fire Department. "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 possible to do thei… Continue Reading


House Republican Budget Cuts

Madam President, I wish to follow up on what was said by the majority leader. This exercise we are engaged in here, this conversation about how to finish this fiscal year which ends on October 1, is one that I think has gotten out of hand, and I will tell you why. I know the debt is a serious problem facing America. I know the deficit is something that threatens our economy and our way of living. I also know there are sensible, thoughtful ways to deal with it. One of them was addressed by… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on VA to Take More Aggressive Steps to Identify Colleges Abusing the GI Bill Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take more aggressive steps to identify colleges and universities that have taken advantage of GI Bill benefits and to remove them from the program. Specifically, Durbin asked the Secretary of the VA, Eric Shinseki, to look into the fourteen other Westwood College campuses including the four that are located in Illinois. "It is appropriate to cut off federal funding from colleges e… Continue Reading


Durbin asks Department of Defense to Step up Efforts to Protect Servicemembers from Poor-Performing Colleges and Abusive Recruiting

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In light of a recent GAO Report that found that the Department of Defense (DOD) lacks basic oversight mechanisms of the Tuition Assistance program, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, to do more to protect students and taxpayers from the worst excesses of the for-profit industry. According to the study, less than a third of the courses offered to military members have been reviewed. "I understand that you have begun … Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes East Moline Mayor as Special Guest to the Joint Session of Congress

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the Mayor of East Moline, John Thodos, as his guest to an address by the Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard to a joint session of Congress. Durbin, a member of the Senate Escort Committee, met with his guest prior to the joint session to discuss the importance of protecting the $240 million in federal funding to build a new rail line connecting Chicago to the Quad Cities and a new, energy efficient, multimodal station. … Continue Reading


Durbin, Lieberman, Lead Bipartisan Resolution Condemning Political Oppression in Belarus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) introduced a resolution today, condemning recent Belarusian elections as illegitimate and calling on the Belarusian regime to immediately release all political prisoners. The resolution also calls for expansion of the list of Belarusian officials who are subject to U.S. and European Union travel and financial sanctions, new elections in Belarus that meet international standards, expanded EU … Continue Reading

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