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Durbin Takes New Subcommittee Chair Position
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is now chairman of the Senate's Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. He takes over the position from Daniel Inouye, the 88-year-old Senator from Hawaii who died last month. He and Durbin had been close friends.
Durbin said his priorities in this new position are very clear.
"My first responsibility is to keep American safe and to stand behind the men and women who have volunteered to risk their lives for this great country," Durbin said. "There's so many different aspects of this that we need to find the best way to spend taxpayers' dollars and reduce wasteful spending that's clearly going on."
Durbin is the second-highest ranked Democrat in the U.S. Senate. He's up for re-election in 2014. He has served in leadership roles on Capitol Hill for the last 26 years.