Press Releases


Durbin, Wicker Say next Amtrak CEO Should Continue Commitment to National System

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter today to Anthony M. Coscia, Chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors, requesting that the next Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) demonstrate commitment to a unified national passenger rail system. "Illinois rail lines are at the center of our national transportation network. Maintain, modernizing and expanding this network is vital to our state," said Durbin. "Amtrak has made great… Continue Reading


Durbin, Senators Urge DHS to Use Waiver Authority for Dual Nationals Subject to Discrimination from New Visa Waiver Program Restriction

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is leading a group of 12 senators calling on Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to provide guidance on the issuance of waivers for individuals who are dual nationals of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program and Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was included in the end of year Omnibus spending bill, travelers from Visa Waiver Program countri… Continue Reading


Senators Call on Department of Education to Deny Federal Funding to Colleges That Use Forced Arbitration Clauses

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - Nine U.S. Senators today called on the Department of Education to use its authority under the Higher Education Act to deny federal Title IV funding to colleges and universities that include forced arbitration clauses or other contractual barriers to court access in their student enrollment agreements. In general, the for-profit education sector is unique among institutions of higher education in including these clauses in enrollment agreements. Senators signing on to … Continue Reading


Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Legislation to Combat Opioid & Heroin Abuse

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Prior to Senate Judiciary Committee approval of legislation to combat opioid and heroin abuse, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) called for a committed, comprehensive response to the growing epidemic: "The industry has to step up and accept their share of the responsibility here. Drug companies have to step up. Doctors have to step up. Pharmacies have to step up. And Congress has to step up. And if we are going to deal with this issue - as we should - then it is about more… Continue Reading


Durbin Pays Tribute to Phil Rock on Senate Floor

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) paid tribute today to Phil Rock, the longest serving President of the Illinois Senate, on the United States Senate Floor. "This morning at Old Saint Patrick's church in downtown Chicago, there is a funeral service for an extraordinary Illinois public servant: the late Senate President Phil Rock. On January 29, Illinois lost one of its most principled leaders and public servants. He was a good friend of mine and a good friend of my wife a… Continue Reading


Durbin Cosponsors Bipartisan Legislation to Combat Gun Trafficking and Straw Purchasing

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of Senators in introducing legislation to combat the practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms. The Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2016 - sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and cosponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) - responds to calls from law enforcement officials for more effective tools to investigate… Continue Reading


Illinois Delegation Members Join Together in Support of Scott AFB Bid to House NGA West

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) led Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation in a letter expressing their support for Scott Air Force Base's bid to house the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), known as NGA West. Although many Members have expressed their individual support for Scott's bid to house the new facility, the letter to NGA Director Robert Cardillo is a strong representation of unified support for the proposal from the bipar… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks Illinois VA to Act After For-Profit College is Cut Off By Department of Education

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs - the State Approving Agency for GI Bill benefits in Illinois - to review the Department of Education's finding about Skokie, Illinois based Computer Systems Institute (CSI) and take action to protect Illinois' student veterans. After finding that CSI was submitting false job placement data, the Department of Education had the for-profit college's participation in the Title IV … Continue Reading


Durbin & Duckworth Seek EPA Review of Lead Rule and Urge Notification of Residents About Risks

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review the effectiveness of a regulation that controls lead and copper in water and establish a limit for lead in drinking water that is consistent with its health risks. Durbin and Duckworth also urged the EPA to work with state and local officials to notify the public immediate when lead contamination has been found. "This is troubling as… Continue Reading


Durbin Applauds Public and Private Sector Commitment to Combating Heroin and Prescription Opioid Epidemic

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said the budget that President Obama delivered to Congress today will increase access to treatment for people battling heroin and prescription opioid addiction. Durbin also addressed today's announcement by Deerfield-based Walgreens of a new program to install medication disposal kiosks in more than 500 of its locations. The company will also make naloxone available without a prescription in Illinois and many other states. "One of the bi… Continue Reading


Durbin Welcomes Alton Mills to Speak at Senate Forum on Criminal Justice Reform

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with Alton Mills, an Illinoisan who was serving a mandatory life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense until his sentence was commuted by President Obama in December at Durbin's urging. Mr. Mills and two of his federal public defenders, MiAngel Cody and Amanda Graham, are in Washington, D.C. at Senator Durbin's invitation to address a meeting of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee. "An overlooked casualty in … Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Effort to Raise Awareness of Heart Disease

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and a bipartisan coalition of sixteen other Senators to introduce a resolution designating February 2016 as American Heart Month, and February 5, 2016 as National Wear Red Day. "As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease has touched almost every American family," Durbin said. "What is especially concerning is the prevalence of heart disease in women but how little we know about… Continue Reading


Durbin: As Interest in Post-9/11 GI Bill Grows It Is More Important Than Ever to Close For-Profit College Loophole

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After President Obama released his budget projecting a growing number of veterans interested in taking advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that is more important now than ever before to close a loophole that incentivizes the aggressive and often predatory recruitment of veterans, service members and their families by the for-profit college industry. President Obama's 2017 Budget would eliminate the loophole - known as the "90/10 lo… Continue Reading


Durbin Praises the Creation of Student Aid Enforcement Unit

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today praised the creation of the Student Aid Enforcement Unit to respond more quickly and efficiently to allegations of illegal actions by institutions of higher education. "This is long overdue. Students and taxpayers need aggressive enforcement of the law to spare students from fraud and taxpayers from further losses like those caused by the Corinthian Colleges collapse," said Durbin. "By combining the forces of our federal and stat… Continue Reading


Durbin Asks Secretary of Homeland Security for "Maximum Flexibilityā€¯ Implementing REAL ID in Illinois

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson today to ask for "maximum flexibility" implementing the REAL ID Act in Illinois. Today, Durbin asked Secretary Johnson to "work closely with state officials to provide clear guidance and flexibility to Illinois residents about the new requirements to access secure federal facilities and provide assistance should Illinois choose to resubmit an application for an extension." In December, the… Continue Reading


Durbin Urges President Obama to Take Robust & Aggressive Actions to Address Spread of the Zika Virus

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - After visiting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia earlier this week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined the full Senate Democratic Caucus in sending a letter to President Obama urging a coordinated interagency response plan to address the spread of the Zika virus both at home and abroad. In Atlanta, Durbin met with CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden and discussed the recent rise in cases related to the Zika virus, which has spread… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets with Air Force Secretary to Discuss Illinois Defense Priorities

[WASHINGTON, DC] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) met today with today with Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. Earlier this week, Durbin also met with General Mark Welsh, Chief of Staff of the Air Force. Today, Secretary James and Durbin - who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees discretionary spending for our nation's military, including bases - discussed the long-term future of Illinois' Air Force installations, including Scott Air Fo… Continue Reading


Durbin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators in Calling for Action Against Recent Surge in Cheap Steel Imports from Turkey

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a bipartisan group of 23 other Senators calling for the Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, to review whether Turkish companies producing steel reinforcing bar, "rebar", are violating U.S. antidumping laws. Turkey's rebar imports now constitute approximately 80% of U.S. rebar imports and around 20% of U.S. domestic rebar consumption - and are projected to increase. "As members who represent rebar manufacturing facilitie… Continue Reading


Durbin: Flint Water Crisis is a Disaster, Congress Must Step Forward and Act

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke on the Senate floor about the urgent water crisis in Flint, Michigan. "This is a disaster. As we speak, almost 100,000 people are being forced to live without access to clean water in their homes," said Durbin. "Every time I hear about this story, the same question comes to my mind: who's going to jail for poisoning 9,000 children? A knowing decision by a city manager to switch to a water supply which was contaminated and endangered th… Continue Reading


Durbin Says 'FACT Act' Harms Victims of Asbestos-Related Disease

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today said that legislation - the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act - passed by the House of Representatives would penalize Americans who are sick and dying from asbestos exposure, many of whom are veterans, and would be an unwarranted giveaway to big companies that made products with asbestos. Senator Durbin's opening statement can be viewed on his YouTube page. "An estima… Continue Reading

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