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Difference between revisions of "Dick Durbin"

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Revision as of 18:50, 24 January 2014

Dick Durbin
Richard Durbin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Illinois
Incumbent
In office
January 3, 1997-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 17
PartyDemocratic
PredecessorPaul M. Simon (D)
Leadership
Senate Majority Whip
January 3, 2007 - Present
Senate Minority Whip
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Compensation
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
First elected1996
Next general November 4, 2014
Campaign $$18,925,881
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House Illinois District 20
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1997
Education
High schoolAssumption High School (1962)
Bachelor'sSchool of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (1966)
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center (1969)
Personal
BirthdayNovember 21, 1944
Place of birthEast St. Louis, Illinois
ProfessionAttorney
Net worth$1,326,065
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Websites
Office website
Campaign website
Richard Joseph "Dick" Durbin (b. December 11, 1943, in East St. Louis, Illinois) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate for the state of Illinois. Additionally, Durbin serves as the Senate Majority Whip. He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996.[1]

Durbin previously was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives representing Illinois' District 20 from 1983 to 1997.[1] He attempted a run for the Illinois State Senate in 1976 and for Lieutenant Governor in 1978.

He is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014.[2]

He is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[3]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Durbin is one of the most reliable Democratic votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Democratic Party in Congress.

Biography

Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois in 1943.

  • Education
    • Assumption High School (1962)
    • B.A. School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (1966)
    • J.D. Georgetown University Law Center (1969)

Durbin was admitted to the Illinois bar in 1970, a year after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center. Durbin went on to practice law in Springfield, Illinois.

Durbin attempted a run for the Illinois State Senate in 1976 and for Lieutenant Governor in 1978.

Career

  • 1969-1972: Legal counsel to Illinois Lieutenant Governor Paul Simon
  • 1972-1982: Legal counsel to Illinois State Senate Judiciary Committee
  • 1983-1997: U.S. House of Representatives Illinois, 20th District
  • 1997-Present: U.S. Senate
    • 2005-Present: Senate Democratic Whip
    • 2007-Present: The Democratic Party obtained a majority, making Durbin the Senate Majority Whip.

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate

2013-2014

Durbin serves on the following Senate committees:[4]

  • United States Senate Committee on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Members
    • Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
    • Subcommittee on Department of Defense
  • United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
    • Subcommittee on The Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights Chair
    • Bankruptcy and the Courts subcommittee
  • United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Foreign Relations Committee
    • The Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues
    • The Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection, and Peace Corps
    • The Subcommittee on European Affairs
    • The Subcommittee on African Affairs

2011-2012

  • United States Senate Committee on Appropriations[5]
    • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Defense
    • Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government (Chairman)
    • Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations[5]
    • Subcommittee on African Affairs
    • Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues
    • Subcommittee on European Affairs
    • Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection
  • United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary[5]
    • Subcommittee on the Constitution
    • Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
    • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
    • Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
    • Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law (Chairman)

Issues

Controversy

White House and GOP leaders

On October 24, 2013, the White House issued a statement saying “we regret the misunderstanding” about Durbin's account of a meeting between House Republicans and President Barack Obama.[6]

“While the quote attributed to a Republican lawmaker in the House GOP meeting with the President is not accurate, there was a miscommunication when the White House read out that meeting to Senate Democrats, and we regret the misunderstanding,” a White House official said in an email.[6]

Durbin posted on his Facebook wall addressing an incident that allegedly occurred during a White House meeting in which a Republican leader allegedly told Obama: “I cannot even stand to look at you.”[6] The Obama administration refuted the account and the GOP called for an apology by Durbin.[6]

Legislative actions

113th Congress

CongressLogo.png

The 113th Congress has had 55 out of 5,401 introduced bills enacted into law (1%) as of November 30, 2013. Comparatively, the 112th Congress had 1.14% of introduced bills enacted into law in the first session.[7] The Senate has confirmed 16,878 out of 19,009 executive nominations received thus far (88.8%). For more information pertaining to Durbin's voting record in the 113th Congress, please see the below sections.[8]

National security

Committee vote on Syria
See also: United States involvement in Syria

Voted "Yes" On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria. It was approved by a 10-7 vote.[9][10]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[9]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that made up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[11] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Durbin was one of the seven Democrats who approved the authorization.[12]

NSA programs

Durbin announced on August 2, 2013, that the Senate Appropriations Committee had approved a measure that would require the NSA to make public declarations about its program.[13] Durbin, who is the assistant Senate majority leader and the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, said the measure was inserted into a Defense Department spending bill.[13] A spokesman for Durbin called it the first legislative action a congressional committee has approved since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s data collection program.[13]

Durbin’s measure strikes a delicate balance between a growing call for curbs on the NSA program and a reluctance on the part of the Obama administration and congressional leaders to sharply limit it.[13] Unlike a narrowly defeated measure in the House that would have barred the NSA from spending any money on the program, effectively killing it, Durbin’s proposal would allow it to continue but would require that the agency make public more information on the program, which the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.[13]

The measure would require the agency to report the number of phone records it’s gathered and to make public the details of any other bulk data-collection programs it operates, including when they began, how much they cost and what types of records are being collected and to list any terrorist plots that the programs have thwarted.[13]

John Brennan CIA nomination

Voted "Yes" Durbin voted for the confirmation of John Brennan as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate on March 7, 2013, with a vote of 63 - 34. Most Democrats supported the nomination, while Republicans were somewhat divided with roughly one-third supporting the nomination.[14]

Economy

Government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Voted "Yes" During the shutdown in October 2013, the Senate rejected, down party lines, every House-originated bill that stripped the budget of funding for the Affordable Care Act. A deal was reached late on October 16, 2013, just hours before the debt ceiling deadline. The bill to reopen the government, H.R. 2775, lifted the $16.7 trillion debt limit and funds the government through January 15, 2014. Federal employees also received retroactive pay for the shutdown period. The only concession made by Senate Democrats was to require income verification for Obamacare subsidies.[15] The final vote on H.R. 2775 was 81-18, with all 18 votes against the bill from Republican members. Durbin voted with the Democratic Party for the bill.[16]

Statement on government shutdown
See also: United States budget debate, 2013

Discussing the possibility of a government shutdown, Durbin said on September 26, 2013,“If the House decides over the weekend come Friday, Saturday, whatever it is, that they’re going to give us a new bill to consider in the Senate: That is a concession on their part that we are going to shut down the government. A clean CR is the only way to meet this deadline."[17]

No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

Voted "Yes" Durbin voted for H.R.325 -- No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate on January 31, 2013, with a vote of 64 - 34. The purpose of the bill was to temporarily suspended the debt ceiling and withhold the pay of members of Congress until a budget could be passed. The vote largely followed party lines with Democrats overwhelmingly supporting it and many Republicans in opposition to the bill.[14]

2013 Senate Budget Proposal

Voted "Yes" Durbin voted in favor of the 2013 Senate Budget Proposal.[14] On March 23, after an all-night debate that ended just before 5 a.m., by a 50 to 49 vote the Democratically controlled Senate approved its first budget in four years. No Republicans voted for the Senate plan, and four Democrats opposed it. All four are from red states and are up for re-election in 2014. Durbin was one of the four Democrats who voted against the budget proposal.[14]

The approved plan is a $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 and would provide a fast track for passage of tax increases, trim spending modestly and leave the government still deeply in the red for the next decade.

The approval of a budget in the Senate began the process of setting up contentious, and potentially fruitless, negotiations with the Republican-controlled House starting in April to reconcile two vastly different plans for dealing with the nation’s economic and budgetary problems.

The House plan would have brought the government’s taxes and spending into balance by 2023 with cuts to domestic spending even below the levels of automatic across-the-board cuts for federal programs now, and it orders up dramatic and controversial changes to Medicare and the tax code.

The Senate plan differed greatly, and included $100 billion in upfront infrastructure spending to bolster the economy and calls for special fast-track rules to overhaul the tax code and raise $975 billion over 10 years in legislation that could not be filibustered. Even with that tax increase and prescribed spending cuts, the plan approved by the Senate would leave the government with a $566 billion annual deficit in 10 years, and $5.2 trillion in additional debt over that window.

Immigration

Gang of Eight

Durbin is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.[3] The group calls for comprehensive and bipartisan immigration legislation that includes their "four basic pillars":

  • 1. A “tough but fair path to citizenship . . . .contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country as required”;
  • 2. Reform our legal immigration system with a greater eye toward our economic needs;
  • 3. Workplace verification; and
  • 4. Setting up a system for admitting future workers (although the term “guest worker” is not used).[18]
Mexico-U.S. border

Voted "No" Durbin voted against Senate Amendment 1197 -- Requires the Completion of the Fence Along the United States-Mexico Border. The amendment was rejected by the Senate on June 18, 2013, with a vote of 39 - 54. The purpose of the amendment was to require the completion of 350 miles of fence described in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 before registered provisional immigrant status may be granted. It would also require 700 miles of fence be completed before the status of registered provisional immigrants may be changed to permanent resident status. The vote followed party lines.[14]

Social Issues

Violence Against Women (2013)

Voted "Yes" Durbin voted for S.47 -- Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The bill was passed by the Senate on February 12, 2013, with a vote of 78 - 22. The purpose of the bill was to combat violence against women, from domestic violence to international trafficking in persons. All 22 dissenting votes were cast by Republicans.[14]

Gun control

Following the September 16, 2013, shooting at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard, Durbin introduced the possibility of debate over gun control reform.[19] During a Senate floor speech, Durbin said that Americans agree that some "common sense" changes are needed to prevent mentally ill people from obtaining firearms.[19]

"Those sorts of things might have been warning signals," Durbin said. "Questions are raised: How can a man with that kind of a background end up getting the necessary security clearance for a military contractor to go into this Navy Yard, to be permitted to go into this Navy Yard? How did he get these weapons into the Navy Yard?"[19]

"If we value our right for ourselves and our families and our children to be safe, if we value this Constitution, if we value the right of American to enjoy their liberties with reasonable limitations, then we need to return to issues that are of importance," Durbin added later.[19]

Previous congressional sessions

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Durbin voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[20]

Senate Judiciary Committee

Dick Durbin was first appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee shortly after he was sworn in on January of 1997 and served until 1999.[21] Durbin was re-appointed to the committee in 2001 when the Democrats regained control of the Senate after the 2000 elections.[21] The Illinois Senator has been on the committee since then and has continued a long period of representation on the powerful committee for the State of Illinois.[21] Former Senator Paul Simon served on the committee from 1985 to 1997 before Dick Durbin became Senator. The other influential Illinois Senator to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee was Everett Dirksen, who served on the committee from 1955 to 1969.[21]

Durbin serves as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. He also serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Crime and Drugs, The Constitution, Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Terrorism and Homeland Security.[22]

Elections

2014

See also: United States Senate elections in Illinois, 2014

Durbin is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014.[23]

2008

On November 4, 2008, Durbin won re-election to the United States Senate. He defeated Steve Sauerberg (R), Kathy Cummings (G), Larry A. Stafford (L), Chad N. Koppie (I) and Patricia Elaine Beard (I) in the general election.[24]


U.S. Senate, Illinois General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRichard J. Durbin Incumbent 67.8% 3,615,844
     Republican Steve Sauerberg 28.5% 1,520,621
     Green Kathy Cummings 2.2% 119,135
     Libertarian Larry A. Stafford 0.9% 50,224
     Constitution Party of Illinois Chad N. Koppie 0.5% 24,059
     Independent Patricia Elaine Beard 0% 1
Total Votes 5,329,884

Full history


Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Durbin is available dating back to 2002. Based on available campaign finance records, Durbin raised a total of $18,925,881 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 3, 2013.[27]

Dick Durbin's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2008 U.S. Senate (Illinois) Won $11,317,550
2002 U.S. Senate (Illinois) Won $7,608,331
Grand Total Raised $18,925,881

2014

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Durbin's reports.[28]

Dick Durbin (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[29]July 17, 2013$2,590,707.97$736,166.29$(98,773.76)$3,228,100.50
July Quarterly[30]July 18, 2013$3,228,100.50$1,276,377.58$(248,330.72)$4,256,147.36
October Quarterly[31]October 13, 2013$4,256,147.36$876,176.52$(269,967.15)$4,862,356.73
Year-end[32]January 31, 2014$4,862,356$967,454$(275,601)$5,554,209
April Quarterly[33]April 15, 2014$5,554,209$476,537$(90,878)$6,062,115
Running totals
$4,332,711.39$(983,550.63)

2008

Breakdown of the source of Durbin's campaign funds before the 2008 election.

Durbin won re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2008. During that re-election cycle, Durbin's campaign committee raised a total of $11,317,550 and spent $13,112,372 .[34]


Analysis

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Durbin is a "moderate Democratic leader," as of June 21, 2013.[35]

Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[36]

Durbin most often votes with:

Durbin least often votes with:

National Journal vote ratings

See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year.

2012

Durbin ranked 3rd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[37]

2011

Durbin ranked 3rd in the liberal rankings in 2011.[38]

Voting with party

2013

The website OpenCongress tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of the chamber caucus. According to the website, Durbin has voted with the Democratic Party 96.9% of the time, which ranked 10th among the 52 Senate Democratic members as of June 2013.[39]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Durbin missed 51 of 5,168 roll call votes, which is 1.0% from January 1997 to March 2013. This amounts to 1.00%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among currently serving senators as of March 2013.[40]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

2011

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Durbin paid his congressional staff a total of $2,883,154 in 2011. He ranks 13th on the list of the highest paid Democratic senatorial staff salaries and ranks 15th overall of the highest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Illinois ranks 9th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[41]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives

Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by OpenSecrets.org, Durbin's net worth as of 2012 was estimated between $970,749 and $1,719,742. That averages to $1,345,245, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic senators in 2012 of $13,566,333. Durbin ranked as the 60th most wealthy senator in 2012.[42]

Dick Durbin Yearly Net Worth
YearAvg. Net Worth% Difference from previous year
2012$1,345,2451.45%
2011$1,326,06520.6%
2010$1,099,550N/A

Personal

Durbin and his wife, Loretta, had three children, Christine, Jennifer and Paul, as well as one grandchild, Alex. Christine died due to a congenital heart condition on November 1, 2008.[43] They currently reside in Springfield. Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois.[44]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Dick + Durbin + Illinois + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bioguide "Richard Durbin" Accessed June 21, 2013
  2. NBC News, "Sen. Durbin Confirms Run for Re-Election," accessed October 8, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 ABC News "Who Are the Gang Of 8 in Senate Immigration Debate?" Accessed May 7, 2013
  4. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 18, 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 About Dick Durbin--U.S. Senator Dick Durbin "Committee Assignments" Accessed October 14, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Politico, "White House: Durbin quote a 'misunderstanding'," accessed October 24, 2013
  7. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, First Session of the 112th Congress," accessed September 5, 2013
  8. Congressional Record, "Resume of Congressional Activity, Second Session of the 113th Congress," accessed March 4, 2014
  9. 9.0 9.1 Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  10. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  11. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  12. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 McClatchy DC "High-ranking Senate Democrat joins calls to disclose NSA collection programs" Accessed August 5, 2013
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 14.5 Project Votesmart, "Dick Durbin Key Votes," accessed October 16, 2013
  15. The Washington Post, "Reid, McConnell propose bipartisan Senate bill to end shutdown, extend borrowing," accessed October 16, 2013
  16. Senate.gov, "H.R. 2775 As Amended," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Politico, "Dems: No Obamacare concessions," accessed September 26, 2013
  18. Washington Post "Gang of Eight immigration plan: Reality-based legislating" Accessed May 7, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 Washington Post, "Durbin raises gun debate in response to Navy Yard shooting," accessed September 17, 2013
  20. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of past members
  22. "Senate Judiciary Committee" List of Subcommittees
  23. NBC News, "Sen. Durbin Confirms Run for Re-Election," accessed October 8, 2013
  24. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"
  25. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 2002," accessed March 28, 2013
  26. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 5, 1996," accessed March 28, 2013
  27. Open Secrets "Dick Durbin" Accessed April 3, 2013
  28. Federal Election Commission "Dick Durbin 2014 Summary reports," Accessed October 29, 2013
  29. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly" accessed July 26, 2013
  30. Federal Election Commission, "July Quarterly" accessed July 26, 2013
  31. Federal Election Commission, "October Quarterly," accessed October 29, 2013
  32. Federal Election Commission, "Year End Report," accessed February 19, 2014
  33. Federal Election Commission, "April Quarterly," accessed April 19, 2014
  34. Open Secrets "Dick Durbin 2008 Election Cycle," Accessed November 7, 2011
  35. Gov Track "Dick Durbin," Accessed June 21, 2013
  36. OpenCongress, "Rep. Dick Durbin," Accessed August 2, 2013
  37. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  38. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  39. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed June 6, 2013
  40. GovTrack, "Dick Durbin," Accessed March 29, 2013
  41. LegiStorm "Dick Durbin"
  42. OpenSecrets.org, "Durbin, (D-IL), 2010"
  43. Chicago Tribune.com "Daughter of Illinois Sen. Durbin dies at 40" Accessed October 14, 2011
  44. About Dick Durbin-- U.S. Senator Dick Durbin "Senator Durbin's Biography" Accessed October 14, 2011
Political offices
Preceded by
Paul M. Simon
U.S. Senate - Illinois
1997-Present
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
'
U.S. House - Illinois, District 20
1983-1997
Succeeded by
'