Dick Durbin

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Dick Durbin
Richard Durbin.jpg
U.S. Senate, Illinois
In office
January 3, 1997-Present
Term ends
January 3, 2015
Years in position 18
Senate Majority Whip
January 3, 2007 - Present
Senate Minority Whip
January 3, 2005 – January 3, 2007
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
First elected1996
Next general November 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois, District 20
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1997
High schoolAssumption High School (1962)
Bachelor'sSchool of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (1966)
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center (1969)
Date of birthNovember 21, 1944
Place of birthEast St. Louis, Illinois
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Office website
Campaign website
Richard Joseph "Dick" Durbin (born December 11, 1943) is a Democratic member of the U.S. Senate for the state of Illinois. Additionally, Durbin serves as the Senate Majority Whip.

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Durbin is a "far-left Democratic leader".[1]


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.


  • 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


Durbin serves on the following Senate committees[2]:


  • United States Senate Committee on Appropriations[3]
    • 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[3]
    • 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[3]
    • 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)


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.[4] Durbin was re-appointed to the committee in 2001 when the Democrats regained control of the Senate after the 2000 elections.[4] 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.[4] 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.[4]

Senator Durbin serves as the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. Durbin also serves on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Crime and Drugs, The Constitution, Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Terrorism and Homeland Security.[5]

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.[6]



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.[7]

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

Campaign donors


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 .[8]


Congressional Staff Salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

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 he 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.[9]

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 - The Center for Responsive Politics, Durbin's net worth as of 2010 was estimated between $999,551 and $1,199,549. That averages to $1,099,550, which is lower than the average net worth of Democratic Senators in 2010 of $19,383,524 .[10]

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. Durbin ranked 3rd in the liberal rankings in 2012.[11]


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of congress voted in the previous year. Durbin ranked 3rd in the liberal rankings among U.S. Senators.[12]

Percentage voting with party

Dick Durbin voted with the Democratic Party 95 of the time, which ranked 18 among the 51 Senate Democratic members as of November 2011.[13]

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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Durbin and his wife, Loretta, had three children, Christine, Jennifer and Paul,as well as one grandchild, Alex. Christine died on November 1, 2008 due to a congenital heart condition.[14] They currently reside in Springfield. Senator Durbin makes approximately 50 round trips a year between Washington and Illinois.[15]

See also

Suggest a link

External links


Political offices
Preceded by
Paul M. Simon
U.S. Senate - Illinois
Succeeded by