Press Releases

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08.12.19

Durbin, Markey, Blumenthal Request Information On Student Data Collection Practices

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today sent letters to numerous education technology (EdTech) companies inquiring about data collection practices on American students. The Senators raised concerns that the learning tools used by these companies could pose a serious risk to students, parents, and educational institutions as a result of the potential for massive amounts of personal information to be stolen, collected, or sold without thei… Continue Reading


08.07.19

Durbin, Duckworth Urge MLB To Report Data On Foul Ball Injuries At Ballparks

WASHINGTON-After repeated incidents of Major League Baseball (MLB) fans being hit by foul balls, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) wrote to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, urging MLB to collect and report data about fan injuries at MLB baseball stadiums. In their letter, the Senators said that releasing this data would help provide the public a better understanding of fan injuries and evaluate the voluntary safety measures that teams are implementing. "This will provide… Continue Reading


07.25.19

Durbin To Acting FDA Commissioner: You Must Act On The Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic In Order To Earn My Support

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless to get off the sidelines and address the public health epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes. In a letter to Sharpless, Durbin said that if the Acting Commissioner were to be nominated to serve in a more permanent role, he would need to see more action to address youth use of e-cigarettes, not just strong statements, in order to support Sh… Continue Reading


07.24.19

Durbin Testifies At House Oversight Subcommittee Hearing On JUUL'S Role In Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today testified at a House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy hearing entitled "Examining JUUL's Role in the Youth Nicotine Epidemic." Durbin testified about JUUL's role in the youth nicotine addiction epidemic, relationship to Big Tobacco companies, and its use of marketing to appeal to youth. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of American teenagers using any tobacco product increased by nearly 40 percent - the lar… Continue Reading


07.09.19

On All-Star Game Day, Durbin Continues Push For Fan Safety At MLB Parks

WASHINGTON-Today, in a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) urged Major League Baseball (MLB) to require extended protective netting to the right and left field corners at all 30 major league ballparks. Durbin also thanked the MLB teams, including the Chicago White Sox, who proactively announced netting extensions this year. "The increasing number of fans hit by balls makes it clear that new safety standards are needed at ballparks. This week, we will all see Major League… Continue Reading


06.27.19

Durbin, Duckworth Urge MLB To Extend Safety Netting To Right And Left Field Corners At All Ballparks

WASHINGTON-After recent incidents of Major League Baseball (MLB) fans being hit by foul balls, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today wrote to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, urging him to push for an extension of the protective netting to the right and left field corners at all 30 major league ballparks. "Clearly, more needs to be done to put the safety of fans first," wrote Durbin and Duckworth. "Players are hitting balls with a velocity of more than 100 miles per h… Continue Reading


06.27.19

Durbin Reintroduces Food Safety Act

WASHINGTON-U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) introduced the Safe Food Act of 2019, which would create a single, independent food safety agency. Currently, food safety oversight is split up among 15 different federal agencies that administer at least 30 laws to regulate food safety. This fragmentation results in a patchwork system where no single voice guides industry, retailers, and consumers. "Our food safety system is fragmented, outdated, and in d… Continue Reading


06.24.19

Ten Years After Landmark Law To Fight Tobacco Addiction, Durbin Presses FDA For Stronger Response To Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

TEN YEARS AFTER LANDMARK LAW TO FIGHT TOBACCO ADDICTION, DURBIN PRESSES FDA FOR STRONGER RESPONSE TO YOUTH E-CIGARETTE EPIDEMIC CHICAGO - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and 15 of their Democratic colleagues, sent a letter to Dr. Ned Sharpless, Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in recognition of the ten year anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. In the letter, the Senators urged the FDA to take… Continue Reading


06.19.19

Durbin To HHS Secretary: FDA Won't Act To Curb Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic, Will You?

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar to use his authority and full force of his agency to tackle the youth vaping epidemic. Durbin, referencing a meeting last month with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, urged Azar to take action on e-cigarettes in light of FDA's refusal to respond to this public health epidemic in a timely manner. "It has become clear to … Continue Reading


06.12.19

Durbin And Cicilline: Tobacco Farms Are No Place For Kids

WASHINGTON - On World Day Against Child Labor, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) reintroduced legislation to protect child laborers from the dangers of exposure to tobacco plants, which can include acute nicotine poisoning and other long-term health effects. The U.S. currently has no specific restrictions to protect children from nicotine poisoning or other health risks associated with tobacco farming. The Children Don't Belong on Tobacco Farms Act a… Continue Reading


05.29.19

Durbin To FDA Commissioner: Don't Be A Spectator To Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless to get off the sidelines and address the public health epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes with strong enforcement action from his agency. In a letter to Sharpless, Durbin said the face-to-face meeting this month with him was, "one of the most disappointing and alarming meetings," during his time in public service. Durbin also cited specific actions t… Continue Reading


05.23.19

Senate Passes Durbin Legislation To Help Combat Robocalls

WASHINGTON - Today, the Senate passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, known as the TRACED Act. The legislation, of which U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) cosponsored, would address the scourge of robocalls by increasing fines on violators of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and directing phone service providers to implement call authentication technology, which can reasonably predict whether an inbound call is from a spoofed number. "This is a … Continue Reading


05.16.19

Durbin, Duckworth, Krishnamoorthi Ask Illinois Colleges And Universities About Efforts To Comply With Student Voter Registration Provision In Federal Law

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-08), have asked Illinois colleges and universities about their efforts to comply with the student voter registration provision in the Higher Education Act (HEA), which mandates that institutions of higher education make a "good-faith effort" to distribute voter registration forms to students. In letters to Illinois institutions, the members addressed the unique challenges … Continue Reading


05.15.19

Durbin Gives Pharma Fleece Award To Drug Companies Abusing Patent System

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today on the Senate floor, as part of his new "Pharma Fleece Awards" series of floor speeches highlighting egregious cases of pharmaceutical industry greed, slammed Celgene, Pfizer, and Sanofi for amassing a large number of excessive secondary patents to block generic competition. Many high-cost, brand-name drugs are shielded from competition due to manipulation of the patent system by "evergreening" or filing numerous additional patents to their pro… Continue Reading


05.15.19

Durbin: FDA Commissioner Refuses To Address Youth E-Cigarette Epidemic

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today met with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Acting Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless to discuss FDA regulation of kid-friendly e-cigarette and cigar flavorings. During the meeting, Durbin urged Sharpless to use his authority as Acting FDA Commissioner to address the public health epidemic of youth use of e-cigarettes, by enforcing the Tobacco Control Act and "deeming rule" and immediately removing kid-friendly flavors from the market-flavors … Continue Reading


04.30.19

Durbin, Schatz, Young, Romney Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Raise Smoking, Vaping Age To 21

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Todd Young (R-IN), and Mitt Romney (R-UT) today introduced the Tobacco to 21 Act, bipartisan legislation that would prohibit the sale of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to anyone under the age of 21 nationwide. "With Big Tobacco constantly targeting our youth through new and flavored products, it's no surprise that nearly all tobacco users began their addiction as kids or young adults," said Durbin. "Across Illinois a… Continue Reading


04.30.19

Durbin, Senators Introduce Bill To Stop Illegal Robocalls

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Tina Smith (D-MN), today introduced the Protecting American Consumers from Robocalls Act, a bill that would help end the plague of illegal robocalls in America. Robocalls have become a widespread annoyance, but are also costing consumers billions of dollars. In 2016, 22 million Americans lost more than $9.5 billion to robocall scams that ma… Continue Reading


04.30.19

Durbin Enlists Illinois Education Professionals To Sound The Alarm On For-Profit Colleges

WASHINGTON - With high school seniors making decisions about their educational futures, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) is enlisting the help of Illinois high school principals, counselors, and teachers to warn college-bound students and their families about the risks associated with attending for-profit colleges. For-profit colleges enroll only nine percent of post-secondary students, but they account for 34 percent of all federal student loan defaults. In today's letter, Durbin said for-prof… Continue Reading


04.29.19

Durbin Introduces Bill To Crack Down On Predatory Lending Practices

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today introduced the Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act of 2019, legislation that would eliminate the excessive rates and steep fees charged to consumers for payday loans by capping interest rates on consumer loans at an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 36 percent-the same limit currently in place for loans marketed to military service-members and their families. The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley… Continue Reading


04.08.19

Durbin & Senators To Juul: You Are More Interested In Profits Than Public Health

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with 10 of his Senate Democratic colleagues, today launched an investigation into JUUL Labs, Inc. by sending a letter to CEO Kevin Burns slamming the company for its partnership with Big Tobacco giant Altria, and questioning its marketing tactics to hook children on nicotine with kid-appealing flavors. The Senators posed an extensive series of questions and made requests for documents pertaining to JUUL's secret business practices around youth… Continue Reading

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