Press Releases


Durbin, Duckworth Announce Federal Funding for Illinois & City of Chicago Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has received $14.6 million in federal funding and the Chicago Department of Public Health received $8.7 million in federal funding in order to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, including funding for patient monitoring, lab testing, acquisition of test kits and protective equipment, and research into vaccines and therapeutics. This federal funding was a… Continue Reading


Durbin to McConnell: Pass Families First Coronavirus Response Act Immediately

WASHINGTON - Amid the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the Senate to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act immediately. The legislation takes additional smart, strategic, and science-based measures to help protect families' economic security, food security, and health security. "This is a health care emergency. It's time for both parties to come to the floor and do our job tonight," Durbin said in a speech on the Senate floor. "T… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Urge President Trump to Immediately Maximize Telework for Federal Employees

WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and 24 of their Senate colleagues, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to immediately issue an executive order directing agencies to utilize telework capabilities to the maximum possible extent. While the Administration has issued guidance recommending agencies expand their telework capabilities, too many federal employees are still required to come to work in-pers… Continue Reading


Durbin, Colleagues Push to Ensure All Students Can Remotely Continue Education During Coronavirus Emergency

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and 12 of their colleagues, today called on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to temporarily allow schools to utilize E-Rate program funding to provide Wi-Fi hotspots or devices with Wi-Fi capability to students who lack internet access at home. This action would help ensure that all students can remotely continue their education during the current publ… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Expand Free Coronavirus Testing to People on Private Insurance, on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Uninsured

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Tina Smith (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR)-led a number of their Democratic Senate colleagues in introducing the Free COVID-19 Testing Act, which would expand free tests to confirm coronavirus (COVID-19) infections. The Free COVID-19 Testing Act would waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and related health care services for individ… Continue Reading


Durbin Informs Illinois Religious Institutions of Nonprofit Security Grant Funding

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent letters to religious institutions and houses of worship across Illinois to make them aware of an important federal funding opportunity for nonprofit organizations to ensure they have the necessary resources to improve their security. Durbin helped secure $90 million in nonprofit security grant funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bill. "In rece… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Demand Additional Federal Resources at O'Hare From Trump Administration

WASHINGTON- After hundreds of passengers were forced to wait in close quarters for hours on end in order to clear medical screenings at customs at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today sent a letter to Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf, Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Mark Morgan, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar demanding additio… Continue Reading


Durbin Calls For Senate To Pass Families First Coronavirus Response Act By Unanimous Consent Immediately

SPRINGFIELD-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement about the need for the Senate to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by unanimous consent (UC) immediately: "In light of the President's emergency declaration, it is imperative that the Senate pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by unanimous consent (UC) immediately. "The House passed this measure with a 90 percent bipartisan vote. We should do the same by UC immediately… Continue Reading


Durbin Statement on President Trump's Federal Emergency Declaration Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

CHICAGO-U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement after President Donald Trump issued a federal Emergency Declaration (ED) due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump's declaration invokes the Stafford Act so states can utilize $42.6 billion currently available in the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) in their efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect public health. "I support President Trump's emergency declaration and strongly urge F… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Introduce Landmark Legislation to Fund PFAS Cleanup

CHICAGO - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tom Carper (D-DE), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in introducing legislation to help communities combat per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination and exposure in drinking water and groundwater. The Providing Financial Assistance to States (PFAS) for Testing and Treatment Act would provide substantial federal funding for PFAS remediation in drinking water, and groundwater, includi… Continue Reading


Durbin, Colleagues Urge Internet Service Providers to Suspend Service Terms Affecting Telepresence Service During Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and 16 Senate colleagues, sent a letter to the CEOs of eight major internet service providers (ISPs) calling on the companies to take steps to accommodate the unprecedented reliance we will likely see on telepresence services, including telework, online education, telehealth, and remote support services. In the letter, sent to the CEOS of AT&T, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Announce $3.5 Million for Maternal and Child Health Services in Illinois

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today announced $3,531,780 in federal funding awarded to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to support health care for low-income mothers, children, and families. This funding is provided through the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Services Block Grant program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). "With this grant, the Illinois Depar… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Press Alden Global Capital on Alarming Staff Cuts at Tribune Publishing

CHICAGO-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) sent a letter to Alden Global Capital about its alarming strategy of staff cuts at Tribune Publishing. The company has a concerning history of dismantling local newspapers for personal gain. On January 13, two months after Alden obtained a 32 percent stake in Tribune Publishing, veteran employees of Tribune Publishing, including staff members at the Chicago Tribune, reported being offered buyouts in an effort to reduce expenses… Continue Reading


Durbin, Colleagues Introduce Bill Directing VA To 'Do Its Job' And Support Veterans Suffering From Diseases Linked To Agent Orange

WASHINGTON - After years of inaction from the Trump Administration, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and more than 29 Senate colleagues, introduced the bicameral Fair Care for Vietnam Veterans Act of 2020, which would require the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide additional benefits for veterans suffering from four diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange. Currently, veterans with specific health conditions developed as a result of… Continue Reading


Durbin, Alexander, Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Address Medical Supply Vulnerability Due To Coronavirus

WASHINGTON - Amid the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), along with a group of nine Senators, today introduced the Commission on America's Medical Security, bipartisan legislation to safeguard America's medical supply chain and address shortages due to the United States' dependence on foreign-made medical equipment. Approximately 40 percent of finished drugs and 80 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients are manufactured overseas-primarily fr… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Press CDC On Shortage Of Coronavirus Test Kit Supplies

WASHINGTON-Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today pressed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield for information on the potential shortage of enzymes needed for CDC coronavirus test kits. Health officials in Illinois have indicated they may not have enough testing supplies to cover their diagnostic needs over the next two weeks. Further, they have not received word from the CDC about whe… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With The Illinois Farm Bureau

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, met with the Illinois Farm Bureau to discuss agriculture priorities in Illinois. During the meeting, farmers expressed concerns with the Trump Administration's uncertain trade approach with China and the Trump Administration's abuse of small oil refinery waivers that have hurt the biofuels market. "The decision by the Trump Administration to effectively shut down the biofuels industry has hurt farmers… Continue Reading


Illinois Congressional Democrats: Border Wall Reprogramming Will Result In Shortfalls Of Illinois National Guard Equipment

WASHINGTON - Today, Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper expressing concern over the shortfalls of equipment for the Illinois National Guard in the wake of the Department of Defense's (DOD) decision to transfer National Guard and Reserve Equipment Account (NGREA) funds to be used to build part of President Donald Trump's ineffective wall on the southwest border. For Fiscal Year 2020, the Illinois Army National Guard identifi… Continue Reading


Durbin, Duckworth Call On President Trump To Utilize FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund To Aid State & Local Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

WASHINGTON-Following Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker's state of emergency declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), and 27 of their Senate Democratic colleagues in sending a letter to President Trump urging him to immediately consider any disaster declarations so states can utilize the $42.6 billion currently available in the Disaster Re… Continue Reading


Durbin Meets With Illinois Public Transportation Officials

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with Illinois public transportation officials from the Chicago Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), Metra, and PACE to discuss transportation priorities in Illinois. The group discussed Positive Train Control (PTC) implementation and the importance of providing federal funding to improve surface transportation. "Investing in Illinois' public transportation infrastructure helps create jobs and improves the safety and efficiency of travel… Continue Reading

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