Dick Durbin

Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ News

There's federal money on the way to help combat domestic violence in northern Illinois. Members of Congress announced a nearly $450,000 grant for Rockford to establish a Family Justice Center. The facility will serve as a hub for survivors of domestic abuse and their children to get help from law enforcement, social services, and other agencies.  Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara says he’s grateful for the federal help.


Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he has some tough questions for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. But he also says he hasn’t made up his mind.

Durbin says that’s not just from Kavanaugh’s 12 years on the federal bench, but also his many years as a lawyer in the executive branch of the government. He says that part of Kavanaugh's career could yield up to one million documents.

Daniel Baker / Illinois Public Media

U.S. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois is calling on the Trump administration to clarify statements made in June about child separations at the border.

In a press release, Durbin and 3 other U.S. Senators say they’ve sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

The letter questions the accuracy of testimony from Azar last month–when he said HHS has 2,047 separated children in its custody. The following week, Azar told reporters in a conference call there were up to 3,000 children in custody.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was asked Tuesday whether he would support a shorter prison sentence for Rod Blagojevich.

President Trump told reporters last week he thought Blagojevich was “very unfairly treated” and was thinking about commuting the former governor's 14-year sentence.

Asked about that, Rauner did not take a position one way or the other.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois U.S. Sen, Dick Durbin says Rod Blagojevich should have gotten a shorter prison sentence.

Ever since last week, when President Trump said he was thinking about commuting the former governor’s sentence, many Illinois politicians have refused to talk about it.

That’s what current Gov. Bruce Rauner did Monday.

But Durbin was unequivocal.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called Tuesday for tougher regulations on e-cigarettes, especially the “insidious” marketing of flavored products to children.

Flanked by doctors and public health officials, the senior Democratic senator from Illinois said he wants to ban flavored e-cigarette products and standardize regulations on how e-cigs are sold — including where and the minimum age of customers.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois State Sen. Kyle McCarter’s nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to Kenya comes at a time of challenges for the African nation.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his intention to nominate McCarter.

"U.S. Capitol Building detail" by Flickr User Kevin Burkett / (CC x 2.0)

Republicans and Democrats are each blaming the other party for the impasse that has caused government funding to expire and a partial government shutdown to loom on Monday.

During a conference call with reporters Saturday, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, said six years of government funding for a children's health insurance program (CHIP) should have been enough to encourage bipartisan support, though it did not get that in either chamber.

US Senator Dick Durbin says he has "deep concerns" about president-elect Donald Trump's choice for attorney general.

The Illinois Democrat met Wednesday with nominee Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama.

Durbin says he asked Sessions about his longstanding position against special protections for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children.

Jeff Bossert

  Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth and Senator Dick Durbin went to Parkland College to discuss education costs.   

Both Democrats  are sponsoring the “In The Red Act.”  This legislation would provide federal funding for two years’ free tuition at community colleges.  Durbin says if passed, the Act would help students, but only if they put in the work.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Heroin users in one northwestern Illinois county are finding an unusual ally when they’re ready to give up drugs…their local police.

Associated Press / NPR

Pope Francis’s call for a renewed spirit of cooperation in Congress drew praise from members of Illinois’s delegation. Democratic Senator Dick Durbin praised the pope’s address to Congress Thursday, which he says extended a challenge to lead better lives and to help people.

“It couldn’t have come at a better time,” Durbin said. “We are divided on partisan lines and regional lines and so many others. But he’s really begged us all to put that aside, and aspire to some of his values and ideals that he’s spelled out.”


Two members of Illinois's congressional delegation want the state to release millions of dollars to complete improvements at the Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

Senator Dick Durbin and 17th District Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, both Democrats, are urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to allow the state to send the money for the renovation project. They've sent a letter to the governor asking him to release more than $16 million for midfield improvements at the airport south of Rockford.


Top Illinois officials are far apart on a budget deal with nine days left of the new fiscal year. Parents with kids in school would be among those bracing for a possible state shutdown.

Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin — who’s been in Congress through three major federal shutdowns — says allowing that to happen in Illinois would be “a disaster.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Scientists who depend on federal funding for their research could find themselves on more secure ground in the future. 

Senator Dick Durbin met with researchers at Northern Illinois University Tuesday to talk about two proposals that would guarantee increases in research and development funding.


Currently, caregivers of those who served on or after September 11, 2001 can receive a stipend. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants to allow veterans who served before then to have the same eligibility. 

"I don't want to, in any way, denigrate the nursing homes and other care facilities, even our state nursing facilities of veteran's homes. But where they can, and when they want to, we want those veterans to have a chance to stay at home. It saves us money," Durbin said. An injured veteran staying at home is much less costly than if they are in a nursing home.

Both Parties In Illinois React To Obama's State Of The Union

Jan 21, 2015
Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Reactions came quickly from both sides of the aisle after last night’s State of the Union speech. 

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin applauded President Obama’s challenge to Congress to pass specific economic proposals. Durbin says ideas like two free years of community college are hard to vote against. 

Durbin also raised questions about GOP priorities in the new Congress, such as the Keystone XL pipeline. Instead, he says Congress should address shortfalls in the Highway Trust Fund.

U.S. Senate Candidates Differ On Ebola Response And More

Oct 30, 2014
durbin.senate.gov / senatoroberweis.com

The Illinois candidates for U.S. Senate sparred over Ebola, Obamacare, immigration reform and anti-violence policies in their final televised debate Wednesday. Chicago Public Television hosted the forum.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat, says he favors close monitoring of passengers and quarantining those at high risk of exposure.

But he disagreed with his Republican challenger Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, on the need for a travel ban from certain countries.  

Durbin, Oberweis Squared Off On Ebola, Jobs, Taxes In Wednesday's Debate

Oct 23, 2014
durbin.senate.gov / senatoroberweis.com

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Republican challenger Jim Oberweis sparred Wednesday over who has the best plan to create jobs and improve the lives of Illinois residents.

Durbin says he wants to provide company tax incentives and affordable health care. Oberweis says he knows how to create jobs.

Durbin raised a question about Oberweis's residency. At issue is the fact that the Sugar Grove Republican's wife has a home in Florida.

More Comments From Illinois Senators On Air Strikes In Iraq

Aug 11, 2014

Both of Illinois' Senators, Dick Durbin (D) and Mark Kirk (R), spoke out in support of American air strikes targeting ISIS militants in Iraq.

Sen. Durbin has warned against the US getting too involved in Iraq, but sees the importance of the current military operation. "We have many Americans in the city of Irbil. What the president is doing is protecting them and giving the Kurds a chance to fight back against the ISIS onslaught," says Durbin.

Funding Still A Roadblock For Thomson Prison

Sep 6, 2013
Thomson Correctional Center

Federal officials remain committed to opening a vacant prison in northwest Illinois. But securing funding remains a key obstacle in getting the facility in Thomson up and running.

Illinois Lawmakers Back Obama's Action

Aug 31, 2013

President Obama's statement on Syria has drawn responses from Illinois' elected representatives.

On Saturday, the president said the White House plans to take military action against Syria's regime for its use of chemical weapons, but added that he first will  seek approval from Congress.

16th District Congressman Adam Kinzinger says if he is asked to go to Washington right away, he would support taking military action. But the Republican says the longer it takes to get approval, the action taken by U.S. forces becomes less effective.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Eleven Illinois counties were declared federal disaster areas Friday evening, paving the way for people and businesses to get more help with flood recovery efforts. President Obama approved Governor Pat Quinn’s request for federal help in the aftermath of mid-April flooding.

Concerns are still being raised about the marketing practices of for-profit colleges when it comes to recruiting military veterans. The topic came up during a recent event highlighting outreach efforts at NIU.

Durbin Weighs in on Gun Restrictions

Dec 17, 2012

Illinois' Senior Senator Reacts in the Wake of Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting

Senator Dick Durbin says hunters and sportsmen need to "step up." The Illinois Democrat urged support for what he called "reasonable restrictions" on the types of weapons that can be purchased,  and on large ammunition magazines. He says average citizens don't need access to the kind of military-style equipment used by the gunman in Connecticut.