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GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they can help save lives.
Trump won’t say publicly that he is working to get to the bottom of the issue.
The standoff threatens to turn the nationwide protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others into another moment that galvanizes the nation but leaves lawmakers unable to act.
Two proposals are on a collision course as Congress seeks to show voters it hears the demonstrators marching in the streets.
Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol's Emancipation Hall.
“There should be no stigma attached to wearing a mask," McConnell said.
House Republicans sued to stop the Democratic majority's new system, in which absent lawmakers can instruct those present to vote on their behalf.
Revamping jobless aid is fast becoming the focus of debate over the next virus aid package.
Behind closed doors, Trump was unscripted and freewheeling with the 53 GOP senators.
Biden's campaign has denied the allegation from his former Senate staffer Tara Reade.