Press Releases


Durbin Announces More than $11.1 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Illinois Transit

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that several Illinois transit projects have been awarded funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This announcement is part of more than $600 million in formula-based Recovery Act funding distributed to almost 200 transit agencies and municipalities by the Department of Transportation to modernize and continue operations, as well as create green jobs. Illinois Department of Tran… Continue Reading


Durbin: Illinois Among Finalists in Phase One of 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 16 finalists for Phase One 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."Illinois is to be congratulated for the strong Race to the Top application they submitted. Illinois' selection today is a … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $1.5 Million 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 17 grants totaling $1,448,822 to fire departments and municipalities throughout Illinois for operations and safety."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 … Continue Reading


Durbin: University of Illinois to Receive $22.5 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Expand Broadband Internet Access

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Commerce (DOC) has awarded $22,534,776 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois to build 187 miles of fiber-optic broadband network in Urbana, Champaign, and Savoy. The funding will also be used to support fiber-to-the-home services in four low-income neighborhoods and provide high-speed connectivity to 143 community anch… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Passage of a 30 Day Extension of Unemployment Benefits

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement tonight, after the Senate passed a 30 day extension of unemployment benefits: "Over the last week, Senator Bunning has objected 11 times to the very same procedure he agreed to tonight. During that time, unemployment benefits were cut off for 15,000 people in Illinois; thousands more lost a helping hand to pay their health insurances; thousands of federal employees were furloughed … Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Follow-Up Hearing On Global Internet Freedom

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a follow-up hearing today on "Global Internet Freedom and the Rule of Law." The hearing, held before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, examined information technology (IT) industry business practices in internet-restricting countries and discussed Obama Administration efforts to promote internet freedom around the world. "With a few notable exceptions, the information technology industry see… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls For End To Republican Filibuster Of Unemployment Benefits And Cobra Subsidies

[CHICAGO, IL] - Fifteen thousand unemployed workers in Illinois will lose their unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies at midnight tonight due to a Republican filibuster of legislation that would extend the benefits for 30 days, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said today at a news conference with unemployed workers at the National Able Network. Last Thursday night and Friday morning, Durbin led Senate efforts to pass a 30-day extension of unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies tha… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $500,000 in Funding to Combat Greenhouse Gases in Chicago

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Chicago Green Healthcare Initiative (CGHI) to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Chicago-area hospitals by reducing their energy use.The Chicago Green Healthcare Initiative is a partnership between Health Care Without Harm and the City of Chicago. The Initiative's goal is to protect public health by significantly reducing… Continue Reading


Durbin Forwards Recommendations for Federal Judges in Central District to White House

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today forwarded a list of names to the White House to consider when filling positions for the U.S. District Court in the Central District of Illinois. There are currently vacancies to be filled on the U.S. District Court in the Central District. Based on recommendations made by a bipartisan screening committee in the state, Durbin has forwarded the names of the following four individuals to the President for consideration as Federal Judges in … Continue Reading


Durbin Calls for Meeting with FEMA Administrator, Army Corps and Others to Discuss Incomplete Information on Illinois Levees

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After receiving a response to his request, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called for a meeting with the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Craig Fugate, and Assistant Secretary of the Army, Jo-Ellen Darcy, to discuss a lack of information that is necessary, according to FEMA, to certify five Illinois levees - Chain of Rocks, Fish Lake, MESD, Prairie Du Pont and Wood River. Once the information is complete, FEMA is comm… Continue Reading


Durbin: White House Nominates First Two to Fill Federal Judgeships in Northern District

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that President Obama has nominated the first two individuals to fill five pending vacancies on the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois: Sharon Coleman and Gary Feinerman. "Sharon Coleman and Gary Feinerman will each bring a great depth of experience and legal ability to the bench," said Durbin. "I was honored to recommend their names to President Obama, and am pleased that he has nominated them to fill… Continue Reading


Durbin, Conyers Unveil Bill to Change Corporate Bankruptcy Laws to Put Workers, Retirees First

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) introduced legislation today, which will curb abuses that deprive employees and retirees of their earnings and retirement savings when businesses collapse. The Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act would make several changes to Chapter 11 bankruptcy law, putting workers interests near the top when companies file for bankruptcy."American worker… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Senate Passage of Jobs Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after the Senate passed the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act by a vote of 70-28. "Today, on a broad bipartisan basis, the U.S. Senate passed an important jobs bill. It's not the only jobs bill we're working on; it's just the beginning. But it is a good beginning. "The bill provides incentives for small businesses to hire unemployed people across our state. We know… Continue Reading


Durbin Appointed to Bipartisan Commission to Balance the Federal Budget and Reduce the National Debt

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) was named to the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform today, becoming one of 18 members tasked with balancing the nation's budget and reducing the long-term Federal debt. The Commission, created by Executive Order earlier this month, will be co-chaired by former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson. "Our national debt can threa… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $4.75 Million in Funding for Illinois Bus Facilities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that several Illinois bus and bus facilities will receive a total of $4,750,000 in funding. Durbin secured this funding in 2009 as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Act. Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System, Bloomington-Normal: $400,000 has been awarded for construction of a new administration / maintenance / bus storage facility. Danville Mass Transit, Danville: $255,000 has been awarded for the purchase of a 35… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Obama Health Care Proposal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement regarding President Obama's health insurance reform proposal that was released earlier today: "The President's health reform proposal brings together the best of the current healthcare proposal - including both Republican and Democratic ideas. President Obama's plan to give access to affordable health care to over 31 million Americans who currently don't have it today, will put families not insurance companies … Continue Reading


Durbin and Whitehouse React to Report on Torture Authorizations

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today reacted to the release of a report on the Office of Professional Responsibility's (OPR) investigation of Justice Department attorneys who provided legal advice regarding waterboarding and other abusive interrogation techniques for the Bush Administration. Whitehouse and Durbin first requested the investigation in a February 12, 2008 letter to OPR and the Office of Inspector General during the previous Ad… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $600,000 in Recovery Act Funding for Emergency Preparedness in Cook and Peoria Counties

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded three Local Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) grants to Chicago, Hoffman Estates, and Peoria totaling $598,556 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grants will allow local governments to expand their capabilities to respond to a variety of energy emergencies including blackouts, hurricanes, floods, ice storms, and possible terroris… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $3 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Rural Water Projects in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $2,895,000 in loans and grants funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for two rural Illinois water system improvement projects. Today's announcement is part of a nationwide announcement of $128.1 million in funding for water and environmental projects that will help provide safe drinking water and protect the environment in … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Nearly $12 Million in Recovery Act Funding for DeKalb Broadband Internet

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Commerce (DOC) has awarded $11,864,164 to DeKalb County through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve access to broadband internet through the DeKalb Advancement of Technology Authority. The funding will be used to deploy a 130-mile high-speed, low-cost fiber-optic broadband network across DeKalb County and northern LaSalle County. "Broadband is an important economi… Continue Reading

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