Richard Joseph Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982. In 1996, he won election to the Senate and has been re-elected six times. He is currently the Senate Minority Whip and dean of the Illinois congressional delegation.
About Dick Durbin in brief
Richard Joseph Durbin was born in East St. Louis, Illinois. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, representing the Springfield-based 20th congressional district. In 1996, he won election to the Senate and has been re-elected six times. He has been the Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, and from 2007 to 2015, served as the Senate Majority Whip. He is currently the Senate Minority Whip and dean of the Illinois congressional delegation. In 2000, Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore reportedly considered asking him to be his running mate for Vice President. He became the first senator to serve as a Senate Whip since Everett Dirksen did so in the 1950s. He earned a B. S. from the School of Foreign Service in 1966 and a J. D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 1969. He worked in state legal counsel throughout the 1970s, and made an unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor of Illinois in 1978. He also worked as an adjunct professor at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine for five years while maintaining his law practice. He won the Democratic nomination for the now-eliminated 20th Congressional district, which included Macon and most of Springfield, in 1982. He scored a 1,400 vote victory, defeating 22-year incumbent Paul Findley, a U. s. Navy veteran, whose district lines had been substantially redrawn to remove rural farms and add economically depressed Macon, replacing 35-percent of the voters and include more Democrats as part of the decennial redistricting. In November 1998, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle appointed him as his Assistant Democratic Whip.
Following the 2004 election, he became the Democratic Whip in the 109th Congress. He served as Assistant Minority Leader from 2005 to 2007 when Democrats became the Majority Party in the Senate. He then assumed the role of Assistant Majority Leader, or Majority Whip, until 2007. In 2010, some pundits predicted a heated fight between him and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to succeed him as Majority Leader. In 2012, he was selected as the Assistant Majority Whip to succeed Harry Reid as the Majority Leader of the Democratic Party. In 2013, he took up the position of Assistant Minority Whip to become the Majority Majority Whip again. In 2014, he assumed his current role as the Minority Whip. In 2015, he is also the Chairman of the subcommittee on Human Rights and the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government and is also a member of the Senate Committee on the Rules of the United States Senate. In 2016, he joined the Senate Judiciary Committee as the Committee’s Vice-Chairman on the Committee on Foreign Relations, where he is the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee on Subcommittee on Terrorism and Preparedness. In the Senate, he also serves as the Ranking Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. In 2008, he served as chairman of the Joint Committee on Armed Services on the Armed Services Subcommittee on the Homeland Security Committee.
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