Dick Durbin

Senate Democrats return to Washington Wednesday morning knowing that their time in the majority will expire in just a few weeks. 

The lame duck session starts Wednesday and ends before Christmas, with a Thanksgiving holiday in between. The new Congress, with its Senate Republican majority of 52 seats, starts shortly after the New Year. The House remains firmly in Republican hands.

State Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Oct. 16, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith / St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Mike Bost rode the national Republican wave to victory Tuesday night, knocking off incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart to represent parts of the Metro East in Congress. 

Bost’s victory capped off a buoyant night for Republicans nationally and in the Land of Lincoln, where Republican Bruce Rauner unseated incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, won re-election.

File photo

For U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, more sanctions against Russia aren’t enough to demonstrate the United States’ fury over Thursday’s crash of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine.

The plane is believed to have been hit by a Russian-made missile fired by pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine.

Durbin and Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., both believe that the bulk of the blame lies with “Putin’s effort to destabilize the Ukraine,’’ as Durbin put it.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin knows firsthand the difficulty in getting a minimum wage increase passed through a legislative body. 

The Illinois Democrat was unsuccessful in getting the U.S. Senate to increase the federal minimum wage this year. Even if Senate Republicans hadn’t filibustered that effort, it would likely have gone nowhere in the GOP-controlled House.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois’ higher education, business and political leaders are pledging cooperation for an effort to bring manufacturing jobs to the region. 

U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Belleville, convened a day-long manufacturing summit at Mid-America Airport in Mascoutah. It was aimed at presenting a united front for southern Illinois to compete for manufacturing jobs.

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

The Missouri Democratic Party has tapped U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., to be the keynote speaker for the state party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, to be held June 7 at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

The Air Force's top civilian official spent Tuesday morning at Scott Air Force Base with Illinois' political leaders. 

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk were among the officials who showed Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James around the Metro East military installation. It was the first time James visited the base since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate late last year. Illinois Lt. Gov. Shelia Simon, St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern and Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan were also on hand for James' visit.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is joining President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats in an election-year push to bridge the pay gap between men and women.

Speaking on the Senate Floor Tuesday, Durbin called on his Republican colleagues to help pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“It says that women cannot be discriminated in the workplace simply because they are women,” he said.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has been supportive of how the U.S. froze bank accounts and barred visas of Russian officials over that country’s action in Ukraine.  

But the Illinois Democrat wants to send a stronger message to Russia by taking initial steps to admit the Republic of Georgia into NATO.

Transcript

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Just before residents of Crimea voted to break away from Ukraine and join Russia, a group of U.S. senators visited Kiev. They were showing support for Ukraine's new government, and also offering U.S. help. Among them was Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin. We reached him by phone in Chicago, and asked if the U.S. and Europe have to accept that Crimea is now part of Russia.

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