News Local/State

Durbin On Progress Against ISIS, Corporate Taxes


U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says the U.S. only has so much power over the terrorist group known as the Islamic State. American airstrikes expanded to Syria this week after six weeks of bombings over Iraq, where ISIS has strongholds. 

But Durbin says it's time for Iraqis to be the boots on the ground in the conflict, so the U.S. Army isn't forced to be.

"There are 900,000 people in the Iraqi Army," he said. "It's huge. A third of them, if well trained and positioned, could take care of this task for sure. There are about 20-50,000 in ISIL. So we certainly are not outnumbered and we won't be."

Congress last week gave the White House the authority to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against ISIS. Durbin says he's wary that any weapons given to the rebels could end up in the Islamic State's arsenal, but says there's no better choice.


When Illinois-based pharmacy chain Walgreens threatened to move its headquarters to Switzerland this summer, Durbin was harshly critical. 

Walgreens eventually opted to stay in suburban Deerfield, but Durbin has continued efforts to crack down on these "inversions," where a company will move their operations overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes on business abroad.

But business leaders, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say companies will keep leaving unless there’s a major overhaul of the American tax code. Durbin disagrees.

"I want to see a change in the law now to stop these so-called inversions, these companies deserting America," he said. "We can work on the tax code, but let's not let these companies run away from their responsibilities to pay their fair share of taxes."

The U.S. Treasury Department is beginning a crackdown of its own, closing what it calls "loopholes" in the corporate tax code. Those changes would make harder for companies to complete an inversion. But should Congress approve it, Durbin's plan would have more teeth.