Dick Durbin | St. Louis Public Radio

Dick Durbin

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is once again wading into East St. Louis' local politics, sounding alarm over a proposal to create an entertainment district featuring all-night clubs. 

Durbin, D-Illinois, has clashed with East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks in the past couple of years over the closing times of clubs and liquor stores in the Metro East municipality.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- With the White House stepping up the pressure, conservative lawmakers firing salvos, and one senator going so far as to deliver his remarks in Spanish, the Senate's long-anticipated debate began this week on an immigration bill that is a high priority but faces an uncertain future in Congress.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With the U.S. Senate moving toward a big vote in June and the House developing an alternative plan, the fate of immigration reform – a major goal of the White House – may hinge on the debate over its costs and benefits, as well as border security.

Durbin: Veteran Disability Claims Procedures 'Got To Change'

May 28, 2013
(Elena Schneider/Medill News Service)

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the way American veterans receive disability claims has "got to change."

His comments come as the federal Department of Veterans Affairs is working on a new digital, paper-less way of handling the claims. The V.A is working to get that done by September.

Durbin says on average, Illinois veterans wait close to a year for payments - which he says is the third-worst rate in the country.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Note: Next week, we will be having a live recording of the podcast to wrap-up the legislative session, and to take questions from listeners. If you're interested in attending, you can find more information about the event here.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

MoDOT

Legislation is on its way to Governor Jay Nixon (D) that would name the new Mississippi River Bridge being built at St. Louis for the late Cardinals slugger Stan "the Man" Musial.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON -- In his remote Yemeni village, young Farea al-Muslimi considered himself to be America's biggest booster. He had spent a year at a California high school and was awarded a U.S. scholarship to study at one of the Middle East's top universities.

But in mid-April, a missile fired by an American drone struck his village -- an explosion that "terrified thousands" in the area and, he said, will likely damage this country's efforts to win over the hearts and minds of people in the fight against terrorism in the region.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – After months of negotiations, a bipartisan group of senators, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, released details Tuesday of a compromise bill to revamp the nation’s immigration system and pave a 13-year citizenship pathway for millions who are living in this country without legal documents.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – For Mayor Jo Anne Smiley of Clarksville, Mo., clean water is key, given that the Mississippi River provides drinking water to 18 million Americans.

For Alton, Ill., Mayor Tom Hoechst, the emphasis is on efforts to help farmers to prevent erosion that leads to sediment buildups that require river dredging. And, of course, the need for more federal investment in river locks and dams.

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the current federal budget battle could present an opportunity for a “grand bargain” between Republicans and Democrats, asserting that  it's time to reform Medicare and other entitlements.

As a guest on Fox News Sunday, the number two Democrat in the Senate also managed to get in a political jab at Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).   

Enyart, Durbin Push Bills To Aid Shipping Industry

Mar 14, 2013
via Flickr/TeamSaintLouis (Army Corps of Engineers)

A pair of bills related to transportation on the inland waterways was introduced in the US House and Senate on Thursday.

Illinois Congressman Bill Enyart introduced his first piece of legislation since being sworn into office last January—the Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act.

Enyart says the bill would give the Army Corps of Engineers authority that it doesn’t currently have, to conduct operations outside of the barge channel.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – With federal funds shrinking but river commerce rising, Illinois lawmakers want to jump-start major infrastructure projects – such as rebuilding key locks and dams on the Mississippi River – by allowing public-private partnerships.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – After nearly three months of debate following the mass shooting of 20 first graders at a Connecticut school, Congress on Thursday began the legislative process of determining which initiatives are politically feasible in the effort to deter gun violence.

At a markup session of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and other senators discussed separate bills that would: ban assault weapons; require criminal and mental-health background checks of all gun buyers; crack down on illegal gun trafficking; and provide help to bolster school security.

Durbin, Kirk Introduce Anti-Gun Trafficking Legislation

Mar 5, 2013
(via Wikimedia Commons)

Illinois' two U.S. senators - Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Mark Kirk - say they and other senators will introduce a bill to crack down on gun trafficking and straw purchasing.
 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: WASHINGTON – The day before the sequester budget axe was due to fall, there was plenty of posturing on Capitol Hill but apparently precious little progress on reaching a deal to avert the across-the-board cuts.

While U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said the Senate would consider today a Democratic bill that aims to replace the sequester with a “balanced approach” including some revenues, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said GOP senators would block that plan. A separate Republican proposal also will be offered.

Sequester Cuts Threaten Civilian Employees At Scott AFB

Feb 25, 2013
Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois’ elected officials are warning that looming sequester budget cuts would have significant impacts on Scott Air Force Base.

Located in Mascoutah, IL, in the Metro East, Scott Air Force Base about 13,000 military and civilian personnel, making it one of the largest employers in the St. Louis region.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts set to kick in on Friday would affect about 4500 civilian employees at Scott and would cause significant harm to the readiness of our military.

(Official Portrait/via Wikimedia Commons)

With a deal to avoid drastic spending cuts behind them, members of Congress are gearing up for what could be another grueling round of negotiations over the federal debt-ceiling.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says members need to get to the bargaining table early this time.

The number two Democrat in the Senate told CNN’s Candy Crowley Sunday that he really doesn’t want to see a sequel to the so called “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois politicians and business leaders met in Alton on Monday to discuss ongoing efforts to keep shipping open on the drought-stricken Mississippi River.

The meeting coincides with work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove rock formations from the riverbed just south of Cape Girardeau.

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin called the drought situation “a historic challenge," saying that additional measures may have to be taken to keep commerce functioning.

(Official Portrait/via Wikimedia Commons)

On Sunday a somber Dick Durbin said the nation is in mourning in the wake of last week’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.     

Then the Democratic U.S. Senator from Illinois told Fox News Sunday host, Chris Wallace, it’s time to think about whether people should be able to buy assault rifles, body armor and high-capacity clips.  

“Can we have a thoughtful, calm reflection on these things and do it in the context of our second amendment?” Durbin asked.  “I think we need to.” 

Residents Of Thomson Eager To Push Forward After Prison Sale

Oct 7, 2012
(screenshot via Google Maps)

Residents of a small northwest Illinois village say they're eager for economic opportunities after the sale of a prison to the federal government. 

The Chicago-Sun Times reports that the sale of Thomson Correctional Center could bring up to 1,600 inmates and just as many jobs to struggling Thomson where fewer than 600 people reside.

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