TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona’s new Senator is getting ready to officially get to work. Senator Elect Mark Kelly will take office sooner than other new Senators and he has his first order of business picked out.
Unlike most new Senators, Mark Kelly does not need to wait to be sworn in in January. Because he won a special election to fill the unexpired term of the late John McCain, he can take office later this month, as soon as the election is officially certified.
He sees the top priority for him and the country is COVID-19 relief.
“We’ve got to stop dismissing the science of somebody who believes in science and data and facts. We've got to listen to the public health professionals. COVID relief means expanded unemployment benefits for folks that are out of work through no fault of their own. We've got 440,000 individuals here in the state of Arizona that are trying to get by on about $240 a week in unemployment benefits. That doesn't work for anybody.”
Kelly says he also wants to get relief for small businesses, which are in danger of closing, or have closed already. He says even before being officially sworn in, he’s been talking to Democratic Senators and reaching across the aisle to Republicans to try to pull together towards solutions to the COVID crisis.
Kelly says he’s working towards other economic issues he committed to in his campaign.
“Healthcare issues, the price of health care, the price of prescription drugs, the economy that's in---despite a stock market that is at near record high levels. We've got hundreds of thousands of individuals all lost their jobs.”
Though Kelly is a Democrat and John McCain was a Republican, Kelly has said many times he respects McCain’s independence and dedication to Arizona. He says he’ll be proud to sit at the desk McCain used for 33 years.