Press Releases


Durbin: Water Crisis a "Mortal and Long-Term Threat" to Global Health, Stability

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) delivered remarks on the global water crisis today and introduced legislation to dramatically improve access to clean water and sanitation. "Access to safe drinking water is a right that everyone in the world ought to enjoy but too few are able to realize," Durbin said. "Water access is no longer simply a global health and development issue; it is a mortal and long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national se… Continue Reading


Feingold-Reid-Durbin Bill to End Automatic Congressional Pay Raises Passes the Senate

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - A bill to discontinue the practice of automatic pay raises for Members of Congress was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate today. The bill was written by U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and cosponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL). The bill would permanently end the automatic cost of living adjustment, and instead require Members of Congress to vote for or against all future salary adjustments. The Consti… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces $2 Million for Statewide Teacher Training Initiative

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said today that the omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Obama this week includes at least $2 million for the Teaching with Primary Sources program in Illinois. Durbin said the $2 million will come from the Library of Congress for continuation of teacher training initiatives in Illinois. Teaching with Primary Sources is a teacher training initiative that instructs educator… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves More than $6.5 Million in Federal Funding for Asian Carp Barrier

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Congress has approved $6.537 million for the Army Corps of Engineers to continue operation and construction on the Asian Carp Barrier project. The Omnibus Appropriations Act included funding for the barrier project which will prevent the spread of invasive species, including Asian Carp, between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basins through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. "The Asian Carp th… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves $34.6 Million to Prevent Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that Congress has approved $34,625,000 for nationwide efforts to combat and prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Additionally, the Omnibus Appropriations Act includes special language directing the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to work collaboratively with the City of Chicago to manage the infestation and provide appropriate resources. "Emerald Ash … Continue Reading


Durbin Reaction to Reports of $500 Million Error in FutureGen Cost Estimate

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today made the following statement after recent news that a Government Accountability Office report found the Department of Energy made a half-billion dollar error in its estimate of the total cost for the FutureGen project. "After five years of competition and preparation, the Department of Energy walked away from FutureGen in January of last year citing escalating costs. Despite that, the Illinois Delegation, leaders in… Continue Reading


Durbin, Cochran Introduce Legislation to Help Organ Transplant Patients

[Washington, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) today introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the quality of life for people with kidney disease. The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Transplant Patients Act would assist thousands of Americans under the age of 65 who are being cut off from Medicare payments for drug therapy after 36 months by extending coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant recipients.… Continue Reading


Durbin: Congress Approves Legislation Allowing Reservists Who Are Federal Employees to Receive Full Salary

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - With the passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Congress' approval of his provision to help federal employees in the National Guard and Reserves avoid a loss of income when they are called to active military duty. Durbin first introduced legislation in 2001 - the Reservist Pay Security Act - to ensure that our brave men and women are paid the equivalent of their full civilian salary while they have been called to active mil… Continue Reading


Congress Gives Approval to Nearly $230 Million in Funding for Illinois Projects

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced the Omnibus Appropriations Act that was approved today by Congress includes $229,727,154 in funding for Illinois projects. SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS: CHICAGO TRANSIT ($36 MILLION): Today's legislation includes over $36 million in funding to create a new transit line, the Circle line, in Chicago and expand transit service along the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Ravens… Continue Reading


Durbin: Senate Approves Funding for Keith Creek Feasibility Study

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Senate Appropriations has approved $526,000 to continue and complete a feasibility study of the work needed to provide reliable flood protection along Keith Creek. The Keith Creek feasibility study will determine what steps need to be taken by the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Rockford to prevent future flood damage to homes and businesses. Durbin has worked closely with Congressman Don Manzullo (R-IL) on this … Continue Reading


Durbin, Members of House and Senate Introduce Legislation to Protect Consumers from Unfair Credit Practices

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation today to create the Financial Product Safety Commission - a single government agency in charge of ensuring that the offering of financial products to consumers is responsible, accountable, and transparent. Joining Durbin as cosponsors were Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Representatives Bill Delahunt (D-MA) and Brad Miller (D-NC). "It's time to put the needs of America… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Albany Park Neighborhood Council to Discuss the Impact of Foreclosures in Cook County

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Albany Park Neighborhood Council to discuss the impact of foreclosed properties on Cook County. In 2008, there were 20,000 mortgage foreclosure cases filed in Cook County. In just two years, foreclosure evictions have nearly tripled from 1,771 evictions in 2006, to nearly 4,500 in 2008. Durbin explained to the Council that one of his top legislative priorities of the year is the passage of his Helping… Continue Reading


Durbin and Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Legislation to Provide Support to Families of Severely Disabled Veterans

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today led a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation to provide essential support services to family caregivers of severely disabled veterans. The Veteran and Servicemember Family Caregiver Support Act of 2009 establishes a program to provide technical, financial and practical support to family caregivers of veterans or members of the Armed Forces seriously injured in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. Durbin introduced … Continue Reading


Durbin Announces Distribution of More Than $83 Million in Byrne Grants for Illinois Communities

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced the distribution of $83,663,470 in Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants to seven Illinois communities and the state of Illinois. These funds are part of the $2 billion in funding available nationwide under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Byrne grants are often used by state and local governments for programs dealing with drug prevention and enforcement, law enforcement information sharing, and combating g… Continue Reading


Statement of Sen. Dick Durbin Regarding IRS Decision Not to Renew Contracts with Private Debt Collectors

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - The Senate's Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) tonight issued the following statement regarding the announcement by the IRS that they will not continue the program to outsource tax debt collection: "The collection of federal taxes is a core government function. Until private debt collectors can prove they can do the job better, do it more efficiently and do it at a lower cost than the IRS, there is no reason we should continue this program. "The bottom lin… Continue Reading


Durbin Announces More Than $467 Million in DOT Grants for Illinois Transit

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has made $467,537,681 in grants available to the state of Illinois under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Today's funding is part of the $7.4 billion in DOT grants for transit projects nationwide. Additionally, Illinois will be eligible to compete for $100 million in grants will be available to public transit agencies nationwide for capital investments to help reduce the… Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes Benedictine University President as Special Guest to the Joint Session of Congress

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed the President of Benedictine University, William Carroll, as his guest to an address given by the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown to a special joint session of Congress. Before attending the joint session, Durbin and Carroll discussed how the recent increase in Pell Grants included in the Economic Recovery Act that will help more students in Illinois and around the country afford a college education. Durbin also welcomed tw… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Springfield / Sangamon County Community Partnership

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with the Springfield / Sangamon County Community Partnership group which included Springfield Mayor Tim Davlin, Illinois Air National Guard Commander Brigadier General Jay Sheedy, members of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, representatives from the Springfield Fire Fighters and several other labor and local governments leaders. They discussed the region's federal priorities and moving forward with their effort to find a new flyin… Continue Reading


Durbin, Gregg, Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Comprehensive Bill to Reform FDA's Food Safety Systems

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) today introduced bipartisan legislation that will dramatically improve the way the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects the safety of the nation's food supply. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act will give the FDA new authorities, tools and resources to comprehensively reform the nation's food safety systems. The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT), Lam… Continue Reading


Reunification of Cyprus

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate. Madam President, in the last few decades we have seen historic changes around the world--the end of apartheid in South Africa, the peaceful collapse of the Soviet Union, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, a wave of democratization across Eastern Europe and Latin America. My mother's homeland, her land of birth, the country of Lithuania, was once occupied by Nazis and then the Soviets. Today, it is a free, prosperous, democratic … Continue Reading

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