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Passersby walk past an empty restaurant in September in Boston. (Steven Senne/AP)

Congress explores COVID business relief amid Omicron panic

Congress is exploring new COVID-19 relief programs for small businesses amid renewed pandemic worries. On Wednesday, officials said Republican Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are crafting a measure aimed at supplying restaurants with additional federal aid.