Kelly secured relief for Arizona’s recovery from the pandemic, introduced bipartisan legislation, met with local leaders across Arizona
Six months into his term, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly, a Navy combat veteran and former NASA astronaut, has continued to deliver results for Arizonans, maintaining a focus on beating the coronavirus, investing in a strong economic recovery for Arizona, and working with Republicans and Democrats to move forward legislation key to Arizona’s success.
Kelly has introduced six pieces of bipartisan legislation, advanced major Arizona priorities including microchip manufacturing and water and transportation infrastructure, set up statewide constituent services helping Arizonans, twice secured COVID-19 relief for Arizona, and led on other major priorities like lowering the cost of prescription drugs and keeping the A-10 flying in Arizona.
Here is a look at how Kelly has worked to support Arizonans and invest in Arizona’s success:
WORKING ACROSS THE AISLE
Working Across the Aisle on Behalf of Arizonans: Kelly, who is serving out the remainder of the late Senator John McCain’s term, was recently named the “most bipartisan Democratic freshman in the U.S. Senate.” The ranking was based on the number of bills the lawmakers co-sponsored with senators of the opposite party.
Since being sworn into office last December, Kelly has introduced six bipartisan bills, working with Republicans on legislation related to infrastructure, small businesses, and the A-10.
In addition to working with colleagues across the aisle, Kelly takes additional steps to be transparent with Arizonans, including by being one of just a few senators to post his official schedule online so Arizonans can see how he is working for them.
BEATING COVID-19 AND SUPPORTING ARIZONANS
Defeating this Virus: Kelly secured $20 billion for improved vaccine distribution and administration and $135.4 million for 23 Arizona health centers that have boosted efforts to vaccinate Arizonans to beat COVID-19 and get our economy back on track. In addition to helping secure key funding needed to combat this virus, Kelly personally administered vaccines to Arizonans across the state, utilizing his medical training from his time as a NASA astronaut.
Supporting Arizonans: In the American Rescue Plan, Kelly secured nearly $1.5 billion for the aging network to continue providing essential services, such as meal deliveries, vaccine outreach and programming, and caregiver support for seniors, $1,400 direct checks for adults and an additional $1,400 per dependent, and $25 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization fund to help Arizona restaurants keep their doors open and their workers employed.
REBUILDING AND REINVENTING THE ECONOMY
Creating High-Paying Arizona Jobs: In keeping with his focus on rebuilding and reinventing Arizona’s economy for the future, Kelly supported and helped pass the CHIPS for America Act in last year’s defense bill, creating federal incentives to increase domestic manufacturing of microchips. Kelly worked with Republicans and Democrats to include $52 billion to fund these CHIPS for America Act programs in legislation that the Senate is set to finalize next week. This will bring investment and high-paying jobs to Arizona, which already has a leading microchip industry.
Investing in Arizona’s Infrastructure: As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Kelly worked with his Republican and Democratic colleagues to shape two pieces of infrastructure legislation critical to Arizona. Recently, Kelly helped shape and pass the bipartisan $303.5 billion transportation infrastructure bill that will fund surface transportation projects in Arizona and make historic investments in Department of Transportation programs for highways, roads, and bridges through committee. Kelly also worked to include key priorities in the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021 to invest in the drinking water and wastewater needs of Arizona and its 22 tribal communities. The bill authorizes more than $35 billion for water infrastructure projects across the country with a focus on upgrading aging infrastructure including Arizona tribal water projects, investing in new technologies, and providing assistance to marginalized communities.
Connecting Small Businesses to Relief: The Small Business Administration recently launched the Community Navigator Pilot Program, championed by Kelly and adopted in the American Rescue Plan. This program will help meet Arizona small business owners where they are, whether that is in Spanish-speaking communities, rural areas, or tribal communities, and connect them to the relief they need to keep their businesses afloat and their employees on payroll.
Saving Arizona Venues: Last month, Kelly visited The Rialto Theater to highlight the federal assistance coming to live venues in Arizona and across the country. Kelly cosponsored the now-enacted Save Our Stages Act to provide $16.2 billion in economic relief for independent venues, including live music stages, movie theaters, and museums shuttered due to the pandemic.
SUPPORTING BORDER COMMUNITIES
Addressing the Crisis at the Border: Kelly has continued to press the Administration for a plan and necessary resources to ensure a secure, orderly and humane process at the border that doesn’t fall on Arizona local communities. In early May, Kelly announced that an additional 262 Homeland Security personnel and 74 volunteers from other government agencies would come to Arizona to assist with the border response.
Recently, Kelly introduced bipartisan legislation called the Border Response Resilience Act that would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and federal partners to create a strategic plan to handle the increases at the border and to conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increased migration at the border. The bill gives DHS access to contingency funding to activate the plan in case of future increases in unaccompanied children, asylum-seekers and migrants at the border to ensure that it does not draw away from security missions.
Supporting Border Communities: Since being sworn into office, Kelly has maintained a focus on border security and solutions to fixing the country’s broken immigration system, visiting the southern border twice in his first few months in office and keeping in regular touch with Arizona Border Patrol leadership. Kelly helped secure $110 million in the American Rescue Plan to allow FEMA to reimburse localities and organizations assisting with the humanitarian response at the border.
Assistance for Border Businesses: Recognizing that border businesses face unique challenges, Kelly introduced the Border Business COVID–19 Rescue Act, bipartisan legislation that would create a loan program to support small businesses located near the border devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and border closures.
Serving Arizonans in Need: Senator Kelly worked quickly to hire experienced caseworkers across Arizona to assist Arizonans having issues with the federal government. Senator Kelly’s office has assisted Arizonans in need, including getting COVID relief for small businesses to keep their doors open.
Recently, Senator Kelly’s office worked with the offices of Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) to advocate for the family of a two-year-old constituent with a rare health condition who faced bureaucratic barriers in accessing a lifesaving drug. The Senators and Congresswoman sent a letter to Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Janet Woodcock and relevant leadership of pharmaceutical companies advocating for continued access to a lifesaving drug for their two-year-old constituent, Woodrow Miller. Thanks to their coordination and hard work, Woodrow Miller was able to begin treatment.
Constituents looking for assistance can visit Kelly’s website HERE.