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Sen. Mark Kelly Wants Senate To Approve COVID-19 Relief Package By The End Of The Year

Newly-elected Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly took the oath of office on Wednesday and says the priority for the rest of the lame-duck session needs to be approving a coronavirus relief package before the end of the year.

When the CARES act was signed into law nearly eight months ago, economists predicted a relatively quick economic recovery.

The most recent jobs report shows unemployment is down from its peak in March — but job growth is decelerating quickly, alarming some economists.

That’s why Kelly says Congress needs to pass a relief package before the end of the year.

“The United States Senate has gone on vacation a number of times through the summer without addressing expiring unemployment benefits and a looming eviction crisis," Kelly said. "I think folks are recognizing that we can’t wait until January to deal with this.” 

Congressional leaders from both parties say they’re seeing positive momentum towards a relief package — but the House recesses Dec. 10, and the Senate recesses Dec. 18.

Scott Bourque was a reporter and podcast producer at KJZZ from 2019 to 2022.