Press Releases


Durbin Introduces Bill to Eliminate the Practice of Child Marriages Overseas

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today which seeks to end the harmful practice of child marriage oversees. The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act would require the U.S. Government to develop an integrated, strategic approach to reduce, and ultimately end, the practice of child marriage. "As I've travelled the world, I've always thought the way a country treats women and children says a lot about its c… Continue Reading


Durbin, Snowe and Lincoln Introduce Affordable Health Insurance Plan for Small Businesses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) today introduced legislation - for consideration in the upcoming Congressional health care reform debate - designed to make insurance more available and affordable for the 47.0 million employees of the nation's 5.9 million small businesses and for 14.0 million self-employed individuals. A diverse coalition of stakeholders from across the political sp… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Announcement of New CPSC Nominees

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after President Obama announced his intent to nominate Inez Tenenbaum as the new Chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Robert Adler as a new CPSC Commissioner. The President also announced a 71 percent funding increase for the consumer safety agency over President' Bush's FY07 budget; a nearly $2 million increase over the funding democrats secured last year. "W… Continue Reading


Durbin, Capps Introduce Legislation to Provide Medical Treatment for Disaster Victims

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Lois Capps (D-CA) introduced legislation to guarantee emergency treatment for victims affected by a major public health disaster, regardless of their health insurance status or ability to pay. The Public Health Emergency Response Act (PHERA), first introduced by Durbin and Capps in July 2008, would make certain every American could receive the medical treatment they need in the immediate aftermath of events… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $589,531 in Recovery Act Funding for NIH Research in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $589,531 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These National Institutes of Health grants, allocated by the Department of Health and Human Services, will support biomedical research and training. The following programs in Illinois will receive funding: • Northwestern University: $68,625 in funding to investigate whether the use of endothelial proge… Continue Reading


Durbin: Legislation Needed to Repair Rail Transit System for Chicago and Rest of Nation

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that he is drafting legislation - for consideration in the next surface transportation bill - that will set a goal of bringing the nation's largest transit systems into a state of good repair. According to a study requested by Durbin and released today by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), 1/3 of the facilities, stations and vehicles used in the seven largest rail transit systems - Chicago, Boston, Ne… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Mortgage Bankruptcy Proposal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement regarding his proposal to allow millions of at-risk homeowners prevent foreclosures by modifying the terms of their mortgages in bankruptcy proceedings. That proposal was voted down, 45-51. "While I'm disappointed with the outcome of today's vote, I'll continue to bring this issue to the floor until the senate decides to put the interests of homeowners above the interest of bankers." "Wh… Continue Reading


The Confirmation of Joseph Szabo

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate Mr. President, I would like to congratulate Mr. Joseph Szabo on his confirmation as the next Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. Joe Szabo has made a significant contribution to my State of Illinois, and I believe he is going to bring great success to the Department of Transportation. Joe Szabo understands better than most the long days, unpredictable schedules, and sometimes hazardous working conditions that come with… Continue Reading


Supporting the Budget Resolution

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate Mr. President, I thank the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Conrad of North Dakota, not only for yielding but also for his leadership in the preparation of this important document. The budget resolution is a blueprint. We pass it and then we go to work with the individual parts of it in the appropriations bills. But we have to get this done first because the budget resolution tells us how much we can spend in total. Once… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Confirms Illinois' Szabo and Rivkin for DOT Positions

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the Senate approval of Joseph Szabo to be the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and Bob Rivkin to be the Department of Transportation General Counsel. "Joe Szabo has a long and distinguished career as an advocate for sound rail transportation policy," said Durbin. "He now brings his passion for the railroad industry and his experience with rail labor to the national stage. I am h… Continue Reading


Durbin: Justice Department Recommends Eliminating Sentencing Disparities Between Crack and Powder Cocaine

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - In a hearing chaired by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today, the Justice Department for the first time endorsed the elimination of the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer announced the Obama Administration's position at the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs hearing on the effectiveness of the current sentencing structure, which has become known as the 100-to-1 ratio. … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $1 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Illinois Wildlife

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Illinois will receive $1,004,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for national wildlife refuges and hatcheries. The funding is part of a larger announcement by the Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Services of $280 million for more than 830 projects nationwide to build visitors centers, improve infrastructure and bolster conservation. Projects that will receive f… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $300 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Army Corps Projects in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced $300,190,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Army Corps of Engineers projects in Illinois. It is estimated that the funding will directly create 2,400 jobs and indirectly create 6,144 jobs. "This Recovery Act funding will allow the Army Corps to address a serious backlog of important infrastructure projects in Illinois while creating thousands of jobs," said Durbin. "Chi… Continue Reading


Durbin Comments on Specter Party Switch

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following remarks after receiving news that Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) intends to change his party affiliation and align himself with Senate Democrats. Durbin has served with Specter on both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee. "For some time now, many of us in the Senate have approached Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and asked him to consider joining the Democr… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $3.2 Million in Recovery Act Funding for Rock Island Arsenal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Rock Island Arsenal will receive $3,276,000 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for three repair projects. "Rock Island Arsenal plays an essential role in the region's economy," said Durbin. "This Recovery Act funding will enhance that role by creating good paying jobs for Illinoisans at the arsenal. At the same time, much needed repairs to the buildings that support our tr… Continue Reading


Durbin's Bankruptcy Amendment to help Homeowners in Foreclosure

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate Madam President, later this week, the Senate is going to consider legislation that I have been working on for 2 years. Two years ago, it was apparent to me that we were facing a mortgage foreclosure crisis in America. It was a crisis which had just begun, but it was obvious there were many victims. I had no idea when I introduced this legislation that we would be standing here 2 years later and the state of the American economy we would … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Illinois' Swine Flu Prevention

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today issued a statement following a briefing on the ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of Illinoisans from the threat of swine influenza. Earlier today, Durbin was joined by members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation on a telephone briefing with the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Dr. Damon Arnold and the Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), Andrew Velasquez.… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Bipartisan Screening Committees for Federal Judges, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today announced the formation of three bipartisan screening committees to assist in selecting Federal District Court Judges, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals for the State of Illinois. The committees will be based in the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois. The screening committees will be comprised of 22 distinguished Illinoisans drawn from various aspects of the legal profession and include former judges, prominent litigators… Continue Reading


Durbin, Schumer, Kennedy Ask Treasury to Support Creation of a Financial Product Safety Commission

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) released a letter to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today, encouraging him to include their proposed Financial Product Safety Commission in the Administration's plans for financial market reforms. "[T]here is no reason for us to have regulations that prevent toasters from exploding into flames, but no protections to prevent mortgages and credit cards from doi… Continue Reading


Durbin Praises Nomination of Tom Lamont for Army Assistant Secretary

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) praised President Obama's choice of Thomas R. Lamont to be Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs within the Department of Defense. "Tom Lamont is a decorated veteran who will be able to draw on his twenty-five years of experience with the Illinois National Guard in this position," said Durbin. "He is also a dedicated public servant with exceptional knowledge and expertise in both the legal and legislative process… Continue Reading

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