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Sen. Richard Durbin

Senate Minority Whip and Senator for Illinois

pronounced RI-cherd // DER-bun

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.

Photo of Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL]

Analysis

Legislative Metrics

Read our 2018 Report Card for Durbin.

Ideology–Leadership Chart

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 Dec 5, 2019. See full analysis methodology.

Ratings from Advocacy Organizations

Committee Membership

Richard Durbin sits on the following committees:

Enacted Legislation

Durbin was the primary sponsor of 34 bills that were enacted. The most recent include:

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Does 34 not sound like a lot? Very few bills are ever enacted — most legislators sponsor only a handful that are signed into law. But there are other legislative activities that we don’t track that are also important, including offering amendments, committee work and oversight of the other branches, and constituent services.

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).

Bills Sponsored

Issue Areas

Durbin sponsors bills primarily in these issue areas:

Education (22%) Health (21%) Crime and Law Enforcement (13%) Armed Forces and National Security (12%) International Affairs (9%) Taxation (8%) Government Operations and Politics (8%) Emergency Management (6%)

Recent Bills

Some of Durbin’s most recently sponsored bills include...

View All » | View Cosponsors »

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.

Voting Record

Key Votes

Durbin voted Yea

Durbin voted Yea

Bill Passed 72/26 on Sep 28, 2016.

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 ...

Durbin voted Yea

Conference Report Agreed to 83/16 on Dec 3, 2015.

H.R 22, formerly the Hire More Heroes Act, has become the Senate’s vehicle for passage of the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the ...

Durbin voted Yea

Joint Resolution Passed 78/22 on Sep 18, 2014.

Durbin voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 81/14 on Dec 21, 2012.

Durbin voted Nay

Conference Report Agreed to 86/13 on Dec 15, 2011.

Durbin voted Yea

Motion Agreed to 81/19 on Dec 15, 2010.

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (Pub.L. 111–312, H.R. 4853, 124 Stat. 3296, enacted December 17, 2010), also known ...

Missed Votes

From Jan 1997 to Dec 2019, Durbin missed 85 of 7,219 roll call votes, which is 1.2%. This is on par with the median of 1.5% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

We don’t track why legislators miss votes, but it’s often due to medical absenses and major life events.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: