U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, announced Friday he will take over one of the most powerful jobs in Washington, D.C. -- the chairmanship of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.
Durbin, the U.S. Senate's assistant majority leader, will preside over the panel that controls more than half the nation's discretionary budget.
"I look forward to the chairmanship of this critical subcommittee," Durbin wrote in a statement. "As we wind down the war in Afghanistan, face upcoming budget cuts, and work to prepare our military for future threats, this sub-committee will focus on ensuring our military remains the most powerful, ready and capable force in the world.
Durbin's subcommittee also oversees paying for the war in Afghanistan and other military operations worldwide. In addition, it controls money for the nation's military and intelligence needs, national security requirements and the daily needs of more than 2 million active duty and reserve military personnel worldwide.
Durbin noted the important role that Illinois military bases has played in the nation's defense, including the training of new sailors at the Great Lakes Naval Station, outside Chicago, to Scott Air Force, near Mascoutah.
"I'll continue to work to maintain our state's leadership and to ensure Illinois service members -- active duty, guard and reserve as well as their families -- have the support they need and deserve," Durbin said.