Durbin is the senior senator from Illinois and is a Democrat. He has served since Jan 7, 1997. Durbin is next up for reelection in 2020.
He is also Senate Minority Whip, a party leadership role. Party leaders focus more on setting their party’s legislative priorties than on introducing legislation.
He was previously the representative for Illinois’s 20th congressional district as a Democrat from 1983 to 1996.
Read our 2018 Report Card for Durbin.
Durbin is shown as a purple triangle ▲ in our ideology-leadership chart below. Each dot is a member of the Senate positioned according to our liberal–conservative ideology score (left to right) and our leadership score (leaders are toward the top).
The chart is based on the bills Durbin has sponsored and cosponsored from Jan 6, 2015 to Apr 11, 2019. See full analysis methodology.
Ratings from Advocacy Organizations
Richard Durbin sits on the following committees:
Senate Committee on Appropriations
- Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Department of Defense
- Member, Subcommittee on Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies
- Member, Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development
- Member, Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government
- Member, Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
- Member, Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Senate Committee on the Judiciary
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Durbin was the primary sponsor of 34 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:
- S. 2830: SIREN Act of 2018
- S. 3345 (114th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 1101 Davis Street in Evanston, Illinois, as the “Abner J. Mikva Post Office ...
- S. 2891 (114th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 525 North Broadway in Aurora, Illinois, as the “Kenneth M. Christy Post Office ...
- S. 2921 (113th): A bill to designate the community based outpatient clinic of the Department of Veterans Affairs located at 310 Home Boulevard in Galesburg, Illinois, as the “Lane A. ...
- S. 1503 (113th): School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
- S. 796 (113th): A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 302 East Green Street in Champaign, Illinois, as the “James R. Burgess Jr. ...
- S. 1573 (112th): Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, 2012
We consider a bill enacted if one of the following is true: a) it is enacted itself, b) it has a companion bill in the other chamber (as identified by Congress) which was enacted, or c) if at least about half of its provisions were incorporated into bills that were enacted (as determined by an automated text analysis, applicable beginning with bills in the 110th Congress).
Durbin sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:
Health (21%) Education (21%) Crime and Law Enforcement (13%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) International Affairs (11%) Taxation (8%) Government Operations and Politics (8%) Finance and Financial Sector (7%)
Some of Durbin’s most recently sponsored bills include...
- S. 1198: A bill to ensure that significantly more students graduate college with the international ...
- S. 1036: Affordable College Textbook Act
- S. 1017: Supporting America’s Caregivers and Families Act
- S. 916: MOMMA’s Act
- S. 894: Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2019
- S. 822: Cameras in the Courtroom Act
- S. 791: GI Education Benefits Fairness Act of 2019
As Senate Minority Whip, Durbin may be focused on his responsibilities other than introducing legislation, such as setting the chamber’s agenda, uniting his party, and brokering deals.
|Durbin’s Vote||Vote Description|
H.J.Res. 31: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019
Feb 14, 2019. Conference Report Agreed to 83/16.
This bill, in its final form, funded the parts of the federal government whose funding was to lapse on February 15, 2019. On December 22, 2018 the 115th Congress was unable to reach a deal to fund some federal agencies through fiscal year 2019 after ...
On the Nomination PN1525: Dominic W. Lanza, of Arizona, to be United States District Judge for the District of Arizona
Sep 6, 2018. Nomination Confirmed 60/35.
On the Nomination PN1404: Elizabeth L. Branch, of Georgia, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit
Feb 27, 2018. Nomination Confirmed 73/23.
H.R. 1892: Further Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018; Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2018, the SUSTAIN Care Act of 2018; Family First Prevention Services Act.; Honoring Hometown ...
Feb 9, 2018. Motion Agreed to 71/28.
This bill became the vehicle for passage of funding for the federal government through March 23, 2018, to avert a government shutdown that would have occurred on February 9, 2018 had this bill not been enacted. The bill was introduced as the Honoring Hometown Heroes ...
On the Nomination PN248: Eric D. Hargan, of Illinois, to be Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
Oct 4, 2017. Nomination Confirmed 57/38.
H.J.Res. 43: Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating ...
Mar 30, 2017. Joint Resolution Passed 51/50.
Joe Biden never got the opportunity to break a single 50-50 Senate tie in eight years as vice president. Mike Pence has already broken two. One from last month has since become law: a measure allowing states to withhold federal Planned Parenthood funding. (The other ...
H.R. 5325: Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2017
Sep 28, 2016. Bill Passed 72/26.
The Continuing Appropriations and Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2017, and Zika Response and Preparedness Act (H.R. 5325) is an appropriations bill which extended funding at the previous year's levels up to December 9, 2016 (10 weeks). After this, a continuing ...
H.J.Res. 124 (113th): Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015
Sep 18, 2014. Joint Resolution Passed 78/22.
On the Nomination PN1210: Edward G. Smith, of Pennsylvania, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Mar 26, 2014. Nomination Confirmed 69/31.
H.R. 4310 (112th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
Dec 21, 2012. Conference Report Agreed to 81/14.
H.R. 1540 (112th): National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012
Dec 15, 2011. Conference Report Agreed to 86/13.
From Jan 1997 to Apr 2019, Durbin missed 81 of 6,911 roll call votes, which is 1.2%. This is on par with the median of 1.4% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.
|Time Period||Votes Eligible||Missed Votes||Percent||Percentile|
The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including:
- unitedstates/congress-legislators, a community project gathering congressional information
- The House and Senate websites, for committee membership and voting records
- United States Congressional Roll Call Voting Records, 1789-1990 by Howard L. Rosenthal and Keith T. Poole.
- Martis’s “The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress”, via Keith Poole’s roll call votes data set, for political party affiliation for Members of Congress from 1789 through about year 2000
- GPO Member Guide for the photo
- GovInfo.gov, for sponsored bills