As chairman of the defense panel, Durbin, who is up for reelection in 2014, will likely see a boost in contributions from the defense industry. In the run-up to his 2008 reelection bid, defense PACs contributed more than $67,000 to his campaign coffers. But that number was dwarfed by far more significant amounts from health care, legal, labor and financial and insurance PACs.
From his new perch on the subcommittee, Durbin likely would improve his already strong chances at reelection. Durbin was reelected in 2008 taking almost 68 percent of the general election vote, the same year of President Barack Obama’s historic victory.
While Durbin is best known for his work in the Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee, he has been a strong voice on the United States’ terrorist detainee policies, and voted in 2011 to extend the Patriot Act (PL 107-56 ) for four years. In 2010 he voted to ratify the strategic arms reduction treaty with Russian and to allow the repeal of a ban of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.