After being sworn into office Wednesday, Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona talked with Scripps' National Political Editor, Joe St. George, in Washington. Kelly was elected in November but sworn in early because he is technically filling the seat of the late Senator John McCain.
Kelly ran on changing Washington.
"You think you can change this place?" St. George asked Kelly.
"It can be changed. Often change takes time, but change can be a good thing for our country," Kelly said.
Regarding COVID-19, Kelly said he spoke with Senator Joe Manchin, D-WV, regarding a bipartisan proposal to provide more economic relief to Americans.
"I am going to look at the details," Kelly said, not commenting yet on whether he supports it.
Kelly will be up for reelection in 2022.
"Would you like to be here a lot longer than that?" St. George asked.
"Well I just got started," Kelly said.
"Will you run again though?" St. George asked.
"The important thing is we address the important issues Arizonans are facing," Kelly said.
As for what committees Kelly will be on, Kelly has yet to be assigned.
"Military and stuff that is technical makes sense for me but we are working through the process," Kelly said.
This morning my family paid our respects to Senator John McCain as I prepare to be sworn in tomorrow. Senator McCain has been a hero of mine since I was a young pilot. He left a legacy of service to Arizona and country that can’t be matched, but that we should all strive towards. pic.twitter.com/CSkhVXPmfW
— Captain Mark Kelly (@CaptMarkKelly) December 1, 2020
Before taking office, Kelly visited the grave of the late Senator John McCain.
"I don't think John McCain is going to be matched in the U.S. Senate, he was a hero of mine," Kelly said.
"I'm very proud to serve in his Senate seat," Kelly added.
As for the 1.6 million Arizonans who voted against Kelly, Kelly said he wants them to know he is working for them too.
"I want them to know I represent them," Kelly said.
As for any measurable differences between Kelly and President-elect Joe Biden, Kelly says yes.
"Border issues and the approach," Kelly said.
"I think it's incredibly important that we have a strong border," Kelly said.
Congratulations to the newest United States Senator @SenMarkKelly. I know he’ll serve the people of Arizona well, and I look forward to working together to build this country back better.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 2, 2020