Press Releases


Durbin Statement on the Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) issued the following statement today after the Senate passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - a bipartisan bill that will create good-paying jobs; make investments in America's future; and cut taxes for working families. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law early next week. "In three weeks, this President, working with Congress, was passed landmark legislation to promote economic recovery, create jobs and inves… Continue Reading


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate I know from your state of New York and my state of Illinois what this recession really means. In December the recession really hit my home state of Illinois hard. We lost 1,200 jobs a day in December. 36,000 jobs. And that is a hit that continues, I'm afraid, in the month of January and maybe in the early part of February. The overall unemployment rate for America is 7.6%. 3.6 million jobs lost since the beginning of the recession just several … Continue Reading


Economic Recovery Plan

Delivered on the floor of the United States Senate. Mr. President, I want to follow on the comments of my friend from New Hampshire, Senator Gregg. Although he and I may disagree on some political issues, and we do, the fact is , many of the things he just said I agree with completely. I think there is a sense among Members of Congress that we are facing an extraordinary set of circumstances in America today. The Presiding Officer, from the State of Michigan, probably has endured more economic … Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes State Senator Dave Koehler as Special Guest to the Joint Session of Congress

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today welcomed Illinois State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) and his wife, Nora Sullivan, as his guests to an address by Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel to a joint session of Congress. Durbin, a member of the Senate Escort Committee, will meet with his guest after the joint session. "Today's Joint Session of Congress is a celebration of the ongoing partnership between the United States and a unified Germany," … Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Final Approval of Long-awaited Internet Code of Conduct

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) released the following statement today after a number of the largest internet companies, human rights organizations and other stakeholders finally approved a voluntary code of conduct governing companies' operations in countries where internet freedom is restricted. Durbin noted that Congressional action may still be needed to protect freedom of expression and user privacy. "Freedom of expression is a fundamental right guaranteed to all p… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on Announcement of New FBI Guidelines

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - United States Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) made the following statement in reaction to the Justice Department's announcement late Friday afternoon that the Attorney General is revising the guidelines for FBI investigations: "The American people will react skeptically to the Administration's efforts to rewrite the rules for FBI surveillance one month before the election in the eighth year of the Bush Administration." "The Justice Department claims that they consulted wi… Continue Reading


Durbin Says Internet Giants Close To Agreement On Code Of Conduct

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that a number of the largest American internet companies, human rights organizations and other stakeholders have reached agreement on a voluntary code of conduct that would govern internet companies operating in countries where internet freedom is restricted, like China. The participants are now reviewing the agreement for final approval. "I commend Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and other participants for agreeing on the princ… Continue Reading


Durbin Introduces Bill to Improve Mental Health Services on College Campuses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin today introduced legislation to improve mental health services on college campuses. The Mental Health on Campus Improvement Act creates a competitive grant program that would provide funding to colleges to focus on both outreach to identify students with mental health needs and treatment of students coming to counseling centers for help. "The shootings at Northern Illinois University and Virginia Tech focused national attention on college campuse… Continue Reading


Durbin, Coburn Seek Update on Long-awaited Code of Conduct for Internet Giants

[WASHINGTON, DC] - United States Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) sent a letter today to three internet giants, seeking an update on a long-planned voluntary code of conduct being written by the industry. The code of conduct, which was discussed during a hearing Durbin chaired in May on global internet freedom and corporate responsibility, would regulate the actions of internet firms which operate in countries that restrict internet use and content. Today's letter was sent to th… Continue Reading


Durbin, Along with Military & Education Leaders, Urges Congress to Support Bright, Accomplished Kids with Bipartisan DREAM Act

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today urged Senate colleagues to come together and support the DREAM Act, a narrowly tailored, bipartisan measure which would permit a select group of undocumented students to become permanent residents if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and attend college or enlist in the military for at least two years. "When I hear some describe this bill as amnesty, I wonder, if someone is willing to r… Continue Reading


DREAM Act as an Amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill

Mr. President, last month we had a controversial and spirited debate over immigration. It went on for several weeks on the floor of the Senate, and many Members of the Senate thought about it and voted one way or the other. The net result is that nothing happened. That is unfortunate. Everybody concedes our immigration laws have broken down. About 600,000 illegal people come into the United States each year and stay. Over 20 years, we now have 12 million people. The number continues to gro… Continue Reading


Feingold-Reid Amendment--Ending Iraq War and Bringing Troops Home

Mr. President, today we face an awesome vote, a historic vote in the Senate. It is a vote about this war in Iraq. It is an issue which consumes this Senate and this Nation. We have lost 3,400 soldiers, over 30,000 returned home injured, some with serious, grievous disabilities and injuries they will battle for a lifetime. We have spent over $500 billion, and there is no end in sight. This morning, the White House announced that the President has finally found a general who will accept t… Continue Reading


High Costs of Iraq War, Need for Policy Change

Mr. President, time is running out to fund the troops. There are many of us who believe the policy in Iraq is a failed policy. The numbers we are given every week are stark and frightening: Over 3,370 American soldiers have now lost their lives in the war in Iraq. Another five were killed yesterday. Over the weekend, three American soldiers were kidnapped. There is a manhunt underway to try to find them and rescue them as quickly as possible. And to all those involved, they have our praye… Continue Reading


Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act of 2007

Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the bipartisan Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act of 2007. I am pleased to have the support and cosponsorship of Senator Grassley for this important legislation, and I look forward to working closely with Chairman Leahy and Ranking Member Specter to advance the bill through the judiciary Committee and to secure its enactment into law. The Methamphetamine Production Prevention Act will take the next step toward wiping out the domestic produ… Continue Reading


Homeland Security Education Act--Increase International Competitiveness in Science and Technology

Mr. President, I urge my colleagues to support the Homeland Security Education Act. This bill encourages initiatives to increase the number of Americans trained in science, technology, engineering, math, and foreign languages. More than a century ago, Henry Ford revolutionized transportation and industry with the creation of the Model T. This car and the process designed to create it were so innovative that it was copied by every other company. The Model T became the base model for all … Continue Reading


Casualties of War: Child Soldiers and the Law

Good morning and welcome to "Casualties of War: Child Soldiers and the Law," the third hearing of the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. This is the first time in Senate history that there has been a subcommittee focused on human rights. And this is the first-ever Congressional hearing on the urgent human rights crisis of child soldiers. That fact alone demonstrates the need for this new Subcommittee. As this hearing's title suggests, during times of war both the rule of law … Continue Reading


Increasing Broadband Access to Improve Competitiveness

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for calling this hearing and for the opportunity to present written testimony for the record. Over the past several months I have held regional broadband summits in Southern Illinois in Carbondale and Central Illinois in Springfield. My hope in organizing those events was to raise awareness of the importance of high speed internet access for health, education, and economic development outcomes. If there was one message I heard loud and clear at these s… Continue Reading


S. 1172: Hunger Free Communities Act

Mr. President, President Eisenhower once stated, ``Every gun that is made, every warship that is launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in armaments is not spending its money alone: it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.'' In as trying a time as we live in today, his statement cannot ring more true. We are in th… Continue Reading


Medicare Prescription Part D

Medicare prescription Part D is a program long overdue. When Medicare was created by President Johnson in the 1960s, it didn't include prescription drugs. Over the years, as more and better prescription drugs were discovered and invented and marketed, we understood that to keep people healthy, our parents and grandparents and disabled people needed access to affordable drugs. For many years, many of us have supported the idea of including prescription drugs in the Medicare plan so seni… Continue Reading


Court Security Improvement Act

Now comes this bill before us, the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007. This bill is the kind of bill which routinely passes in the Senate with no debate. The reason is, it isn't debatable. It comes down to a question of protecting the men and women who serve in the Federal judiciary. This is an issue which is personal with me. In 2005, one of my close personal friends, a woman I appointed to the Federal court in Chicago, Joan Lefkow, went through a tragic personal experience. Someon… Continue Reading

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