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Sen. Richard "Dick" J. Durbin

Self Description

December 2005: "Senator Dick Durbin was elected by his fellow Democratic Senators in December 2004 to the Senate's second highest ranking Democratic leadership post. Durbin's election as Assistant Minority Leader, also known as Democratic Whip, will mark only the fifth time in history that an Illinois senator has served as a Senate leader.

Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois and the first Illinois senator to serve on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee in more than a quarter of a century. He is the state’s senior senator and convenor of the bipartisan Illinois delegation.

Elected to the U.S. Senate on November 5, 1996 and re-elected in 2002, Durbin fills the seat left vacant by the retirement of his long-time friend and mentor, U.S. Senator Paul Simon."

Third-Party Descriptions

October 2011: 'The Illinois Democrat had pushed legislation, which went into effect a week ago, that limits the fees big banks collect from merchants, and he now finds himself the fall guy for Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit card fee. His response? He ranted and raved and suggested that consumers “get the heck out of that bank.”'

June 2011: "I was hopeful. This was in early 2002, shortly after Senators Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican, and Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, introduced the Dream Act — Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. It seemed like the legislative version of what I’d told myself: If I work hard and contribute, things will work out."

May 2010: "price controls on debit transactions over the furious objections of the beleaguered banking industry....The industry also rode the support of Senator Richard J. Durbin, the Democratic whip, who wrote the amendment and pushed the sponsor of the banking overhaul bill, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, to allow a vote on the Senate floor."

June 2009: "The bill, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would change many of the rules companies must follow to obtain temporary work visas, known as H-1Bs and L-1s. The most controversial new rule would bar companies with more than 50 U.S. employees from getting any additional work visas if more than 50% of their U.S. workforce is made up of H-1B or L-1 visa holders. The 50/50 Rule"

January 2009: "Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, said he and fellow backers of the plan see it as a way to create more voluntary negotiations between struggling homeowners and financial institutions. So far, voluntary programs have proved ineffective, Democrats said."

August 2008: 'The senators said the new guidelines would allow the F.B.I. to open an investigation of an American, conduct surveillance, pry into private records and take other investigative steps “without any basis for suspicion.” The plan “might permit an innocent American to be subjected to such intrusive surveillance based in part on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or on protected First Amendment activities,” the letter said. It was signed by Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.'

June 2008: 'The House yesterday narrowly failed to approve a proposal to give jobless workers an extra three months of unemployment benefits....Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said a free-standing bill would face "an uphill battle." Senate leaders instead plan to include the unemployment extension in a supplemental spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reasoning that the combination would be more likely to win the president's signature.'

May 2008: '“It strikes me that this is the right situation for a president to step in, for a president of the United States to step in,” Mr. Durbin said. “I think the president should be calling you all before his little meeting place, the White House, and talking about what you are doing to the American economy.”'

August 2007: "Another idea, being considered by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, would give bankruptcy judges the ability to revise mortgage contracts, much as they already do when sorting out payments to other kinds of creditors."

April 2008: "A Senate bill, sponsored by Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and John E. Sununu (R-N.H.), would require the FBI to track its use of the [National Security--Ed.] letters more carefully and would narrow the types of records that can be obtained with a letter, and therefore without judicial approval, to those that are least sensitive."

February 2008: "Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who had threatened this week to hold up the appointment of a deputy attorney general over the [waterboarding—Ed.] controversy, said yesterday he would allow the vote to proceed, but he decried the administration's policy."

February 2008: 'The H-1B program could get an overhaul later this year. Senators Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) have proposed reforms because of what they consider widespread abuse. "There are simply too many loopholes that companies can use to get around the original intent of the H-1B visa," says Grassley in an e-mail.'

November 2007: "After pressure from Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the VA acted on Anderson's case. He has since been awarded compensation for a traumatic brain injury."

October 2007: Another Democrat, Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, said Mr. Mukasey had “spent four pages responding and still didn’t provide an answer” to the question, “Is waterboarding illegal?”

October 2007: But Leahy, who said last week that 'my vote would depend on him answering that question,' stopped short of declaring he will oppose the nomination. Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), also issued a statement criticizing Mukasey but did not say whether he would vote no.

October 2007: Now, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is pushing a plan that would give them a way to stay here and become Americans. The measure is triggering another bitter debate over how the nation should deal with its growing shadow population.

October 2007: Now that loophole was about to be closed. First Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, and then Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who had been tortured as a prisoner in North Vietnam, proposed legislation to ban such treatment.

August 2007: Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) has advocated a single food agency as a way to create efficiency. 'It could be that USDA is not the best model. Let science dictate that decision, not tradition or politics,' Durbin said.

August 2007: Congressional Democrats, who requested the report, said it provides evidence of lax enforcement by the Bush administration. 'Lenders continue to take advantage of students entering college and the Department of Education is not doing enough to prevent it,' Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a statement. 'Parents and students have placed their trust in a department that is not living up to its responsibility.'

March 2007: Durbin is considering the tougher standards for companies that want to bring temporary foreign workers into the country under the H-1B visa program. According to a summary of Durbin's draft proposal, before they could use such visas, companies would have to give a written pledge, or 'attestation,' that they made a good-faith effort to hire American workers first and that they were not displacing any American workers by bringing in non-U.S. employees.

February 2006: The debate did shine some light on one of the most intractable problems facing the legal system: the thousands of asbestos-exposure claims that are the churning through the courts. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate and a leading opponent of the trust fund, acknowledged that 'significant changes in the existing tort system' are needed, and that all the principals -- including the trial lawyers who sought to defeat the proposed fund -- must give ground.

January 2006: Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the Democratic whip, found himself in a rare convergence with Coburn. 'We are carping on trifles here,' he testified. 'Why is it that we warm up to all these lobbyists? It isn't for a meal. . . . We know when it comes time to finance our campaigns, we're going to be knocking on those same doors.'


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Member of (past or present) Democratic Party / Democratic National Committee (DNC) Organization Dec 22, 2005
Student/Trainee (past or present) Georgetown University Organization Dec 22, 2005
Member of (past or present) US Senate Organization Dec 22, 2005
Supervisor of (past or present) Pete Rouse MPA Person Aug 3, 2015
Subordinate of (past or present) Senator Paul Simon Person Dec 22, 2005

Articles and Resources

47 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
Oct 29, 2013 Lawmakers propose USA Freedom Act to curb NSA’s powers

QUOTE: Dozens of lawmakers from both parties introduced legislation Tuesday to rein in the National Security Agency's spying powers. The USA Freedom Act, which has 16 co-sponsors in the Senate and more than 70 in the House, would end the agency's massive phone record collection program — one of the most controversial revelations from the leaks by Edward Snowden.

The Hill
Oct 07, 2011 Checking Account Wars, Behind the Scenes (Your Money)

QUOTE: So the big banks make you pay, and the most aggressive of the little institutions want to pay you.... Even when nearly everyone had free checking several years ago, however, there were all sorts of questionable activities going on behind the scenes to pay for it.

New York Times
Jun 22, 2011 My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant

QUOTE: ...I am still an undocumented immigrant. And that means living a different kind of reality. It means going about my day in fear of being found out....Last year I read about four students who walked from Miami to Washington to lobby for the Dream Act, a nearly decade-old immigration bill that would provide a path to legal permanent residency for young people who have been educated in this country...Their courage has inspired me.

New York Times
Apr 26, 2011 Deportation Halted for Some Students as Lawmakers Seek New Policy

QUOTE: ICE officials in central Florida recently invited immigration lawyers to bring forward illegal immigrants facing deportation who did not have criminal records, offering provisional authorization for them to remain here and work legally.

New York Times
Apr 20, 2011 Latinos and Democrats Press Obama to Curb Deportations

QUOTE: “We are asking the president if he could provide some sort of relief to innocent people who are the most impacted by the inequities of the immigration system.”

New York Times
May 14, 2010 Debit Fee Cut Is a Rare Loss for Big Banks

QUOTE: Retailers have begged Congress for years, in vain, to limit the fees they must pay to banks when customers swipe credit or debit cards...That long record of futility ended in a landslide Thursday night. Sixty-four senators, including 17 Republicans, agreed to impose price controls on debit transactions over the furious objections of the beleaguered banking industry.

New York Times
Oct 09, 2009 Against Transparency: The perils of openness in government.

QUOTE: More information,[from greater government transparency]" as [Archon] Fung and his colleagues put it, "does not always produce markets that are more efficient." Instead, "responses to information are inseparable from their interests, desires, resources, cognitive capacities, and social contexts..."

New Republic, The (TNR)
Oct 01, 2009 America's High-Tech Sweatshops: U.S. companies may be contributing unwittingly to the exploitation of workers imported from India and elsewhere by tech-services outfits

QUOTE: While many [tech-service] outfits operate legally and provide high-quality talent, there is growing evidence that others violate U.S. laws and mistreat their recruits.

Jun 09, 2009 Illinois sues Crestwood over contaminated well

QUOTE: Crestwood [Illinois] Mayor Robert Stranczek and his father were sued in [Illinois] state court today and accused of repeatedly lying about their secret use of a community well contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

Chicago Tribune
Jun 03, 2009 Work Visa Bill Threatens Indian Outsourcers

QUOTE: A new bill in Washington aimed at tightening the rules for companies in the U.S. that hire skilled workers from abroad could threaten the business model for outsourcing firms....U.S. tech worker groups say this arrangement allows outsourcers to displace American workers both while the visa holders are in the U.S. and when they return home.

Apr 03, 2009 States move against in-state tuition for illegal immigrants: In recent years, states have barred undocumented students from getting the lower tuition fees.

QUOTE: Some states are explicitly refusing to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition fees at colleges, reversing a previous trend.

Christian Science Monitor
Jan 08, 2009 Citi Reaches Deal With Lawmakers on Home Loans

QUOTE: In a move that would help troubled homeowners, Citigroup agreed to support legislation that would let bankruptcy judges adjust mortgages for at-risk borrowers....Financial industry lobbyists, however, said the plan was flawed and vowed to fight legislation aimed at easing up on homeowners facing foreclosure.

New York Times
Aug 21, 2008 New Guidelines Would Give F.B.I. Broader Powers

QUOTE: A Justice Department plan would loosen restrictions on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to allow agents to open a national security or criminal investigation against someone without any clear basis for suspicion...Little is known about its precise language, but civil liberties advocates say they fear it could give the government even broader license to open terrorism investigations.

New York Times
Jun 12, 2008 House Fails To Extend Jobless Benefits: Democrats Vow Another Vote Today

QUOTE: The House yesterday narrowly failed to approve a proposal to give jobless workers an extra three months of unemployment benefits, but Democratic leaders said they would bring back the bill for a second vote today.

Washington Post
May 22, 2008 Senators Sharply Question Oil Officials

QUOTE: But while momentum is building for several measures, including a bill that would allow the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to be sued in American courts under antitrust laws, there is little sign that any of the proposals would do much, if anything, to lower prices quickly.

New York Times
Apr 15, 2008 National Security Letters: Lawmakers Want FBI Access to Data Curbed

QUOTE: Proposals to rein in the use of secret "national security letters" will be discussed over the next week at hearings in both chambers. The hearings stem from disclosures that the FBI had clandestinely gathered telephone, e-mail and financial records "sought for" or "relevant to" terrorism or intelligence activities without following appropriate procedures.

Washington Post
Feb 23, 2008 Waterboarding Is Focus of Justice Dept. Inquiry

QUOTE: The Justice Department['s] internal ethics office was investigating the department’s legal approval for waterboarding of Qaeda suspects by the Central Intelligence Agency and was likely to make public an unclassified version of its report.

New York Times
Feb 23, 2008 Justice Probes Authors Of Waterboarding Memos

QUOTE: An internal watchdog office at the Justice Department is investigating whether Bush administration lawyers violated professional standards by issuing legal opinions that authorized the CIA to use waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques...

Washington Post
Feb 07, 2008 Mukasey Rejects Criminal Probe Into Waterboarding

QUOTE: New controversy about waterboarding has swirled in Washington since CIA Director Michael V. Hayden confirmed...that the CIA used the tactic on al-Qaeda a secret detention site. [Hayden] defended the treatment as necessary to obtain information about potential terrorist attacks. Independent legal experts have said the use of a tactic meant to coerce detainees to talk by making them fear death through drowning is barred by U.S. laws and treaties under all circumstances...

Washington Post
Feb 03, 2008 Are H-1B Workers Getting Bilked? Overseas companies are accused of underpaying foreigners on work visas—and hurting U.S. wages

QUOTE: A number of the most active users of the work-visa program, for what are known as H-1B visas, have been accused of underpaying or otherwise mistreating workers.


47 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]