Press Releases


Durbin, Kirk to DOT Secretary: Compromise on O'Hare Modernization is Essential

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After learning that the Department of Transportation is planning to host a meeting this week in Washington between the City of Chicago and both United Airlines and American Airlines, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today sent a letter to the Secretary of the Department of Transportation (DOT), Ray LaHood, to stress the importance of finding a compromise on the O'Hare Modernization Program. "Secretary LaHood shares our commitment to moving for… Continue Reading


Durbin, Kirk, Manzullo and Roskam Tell Chinese Government to Uphold Their Agreements with Illinois Businesses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation, led by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), have sent a bipartisan letter to the Chinese Ambassador asking for him to intervene in the case of an Illinois business that has been locked out of its own plant and had its intellectual property stolen by its onetime Chinese business partner. "We are writing to request your intervention in an ongoing business dispute brought to our attention by Fellowes, Inc., a business pro… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Ask Federal Officials to Examine Opportunities to Strengthen Protections Along Lake Michigan Shoreline

[CHICAGO, IL] - Following one of the heaviest snowfalls in Chicago's history, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) are asking federal and local officials to determine whether all areas of the Lake Michigan shoreline adequately protect Lake Shore Drive and the City of Chicago. In a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers and the Secretary of Transportation, Durbin and Kirk have requested that they consider the impact waves could have had along the shore if Lak… Continue Reading


Durbin and Kirk Express Support for Chicago Area Resident to be ATF Director

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today expressed their support for Andrew Traver to be Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). President Obama first nominated Traver to be ATF Director in November 2010 and re-nominated him to the post earlier this year. "ATF has been without a Senate-confirmed Director since 2006, and this lack of leadership has hampered our nation's … Continue Reading


Durbin Asks FEMA to Acknowledge Existence of Metro East Levees in Flood Mapping Process

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin helped organize a bipartisan group of Senators that asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to stop using it's 'without levee' designation and acknowledge the existence of the Metro East and other levees when mapping flood plains. Last year Durbin announced that, through his efforts, FEMA chose to delay the implementation of the new flood maps for the St. Louis region until December 2011 and stressed the importance of the delay i… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $1.45 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 18 grants totaling $1,453,032 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… Continue Reading


Durbin Named to Holocaust Memorial Council

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) has been named to the Holocaust Memorial Council, the board of trustees for United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. "It is a great honor to serve on the Holocaust Memorial Council," Durbin said. "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is not only a place for remembering the millions of people who lost their lives to the Holocaust, it is also a place to teach a new generation about the mistakes… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Illinois Businesses to Discuss Opportunities to Export to Africa

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Corporate Council on Africa - which included representatives from two Illinois companies - to discuss challenges faced by U.S. companies that want to do business in Africa. Durbin, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee listened to the group's ideas on how the U.S. government can more effectively help American companies compete in the African market, particularly against China. "For businesses - both… Continue Reading


Durbin Provision to Encourage Sustainable Airport Design Included in FAA Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), that would help the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) create a standardized, voluntary set of best practices to help airports operate and build sustainable facilities was included in the FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which is currently being debated by the U.S. Senate. The provision would establish a working group to develop these standards and help create a voluntary rating syst… Continue Reading


Durbin Chairs Hearing on the Constitutionality of the Health Care Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired the first-ever Congressional hearing examining the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act today, two days after a Florida court ruled the health care law was unconstitutional and hours before the Senate was scheduled to vote on a Republican amendment repealing the landmark reforms. Durbin, one of the law's biggest proponents, argued that the law was constitutional and that legal challenges to the legislation a… Continue Reading


Durbin Provision to Study Partnerships Between Air and Rail Travel Included in FAA Bill

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A provision, authored by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), requiring the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study ways to increase coordination between air and passenger rail travel is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act which is currently being debated by the U.S. Senate. The provision specifically identifies codeshare agreements as one way that airlines and passenger rail providers can bet… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on New Belarusian Sanctions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after the State Department announced new sanctions against Belarus and the regime of President Alexander Lukashenka: "I applaud the new, targeted, sanctions and travel restrictions against Lukashenka and those helping to prop up his dictatorship," Durbin said. "Lukashenka should be under no illusions - these sanctions are only the first step. Until all political prisoners are uncon… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls on College and University Heads to be "Better Stewards of Taxpayer Dollars"

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the leaders of over 300 colleges and universities to become 'better stewards of taxpayer dollars' by doing more to ensure those investments are matched with student achievement. Durbin called on schools to make certain students are completing degrees and gaining useful knowledge, not just piling up mountains of student loan debt. "I'm here to tell you that you cannot afford to stand on the sidelines of this conversation any… Continue Reading


National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

Remarks as Prepared by Senator Richard J. Durbin I want to thank Dr. Warrick Carter - the maestro - for that generous introduction, and for his leadership as chairman of the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities. I also want to acknowledge NAICU chairman Dr. John Bassett, and President David Warren. And welcome all of you, especially my fellow Illinoisans, to Washington. When President Obama said in his State of the Union Address, "This is our generation's S… Continue Reading


Durbin Writes to Governor Quinn About Protecting Illinois Servicemembers from Excessive Mortgage Fees and Foreclosure

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn today, pledging to work together to protect Illinois servicemembers from excessive mortgage fees and foreclosure. Recent news reports have raised concerns that servicemembers are being overcharged for the mortgages and foreclosed upon in violation of their legal rights. Durbin asked Quinn to do all that he can to ensure servicemembers are aware of their rights and the resources available to them. "Last … Continue Reading


Durbin: Report Confirms Illinois Families and Businesses Will Save Under Health Care Reform Law

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirms that, under the new health care reform law, individual families will save on health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs - up to $14,900 annually - and tax credits could save small businesses up to $6 billion over two years. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today cautioned that a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would mean higher health care costs for Illinois consumers. "Today's rep… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Senate Foreign Relations Committee

[WASHINGTION, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) will join the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when the panel convenes for the start of the 112th Congress. "I'm pleased to be joining my colleagues on the Senate Foreign Relations committee," Durbin said. "America's engagement overseas is not only critical for our national security, but it is vital to Illinois' economy and status as a crossroads for global business and culture. I look forward to the opportunity … Continue Reading


Kirk and Durbin Co-Sponsor Legislation to Stop Dumping in Great Lakes

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a display of bi-partisanship, Illinois' two U.S. senators-Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Dick Durbin-introduced legislation in Congress late last night to protect the Great Lakes from sewage dumping into the lakes. The Great Lakes Water Protection Act would increase fines to up to $100,000 a day per violation by 2031, providing communities 20 years to upgrade their sewage treatment facilities. Currently, fines are capped at $37,500 a day. Money collected from f… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces more than $2 Million in FEMA Grants for Illinois Fire Departments

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has awarded 15 grants totaling $2,009,827 to fire departments 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 resources possible to do the… Continue Reading


Durbin Cosponsors Bill to End SUGAR Program and Save Consumers Billions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would phase out the U.S. sugar program which supports artificially high sugar prices, nearly twice the world market price and costs consumers $4 billion a year. The sugar program hurts American workers by driving good jobs overseas; it hurts American consumers by increasing the price of products made with sugar; and it hurts sugar producers by driving down long term demand for their product. "Illino… Continue Reading

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