Dems prepare to go it alone on Covid relief if Republicans don't cooperate

“The sentiment is this: We would like Republicans to work with us to be part of the solution to deliver emergency help, but we can’t wait, it’s urgent, and we need to double-track this process,” Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., who was on the call, told reporters. “So we will continue to reach out to Republicans, but I’m a big supporter of having an insurance policy in place through reconciliation.”

There was a sense of agreement that the overall price tag for the package would remain at $1.9 trillion, despite efforts from Republicans in the 16-member bipartisan group negotiating the legislation to try to narrow the package, multiple Democrats said.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the No. 3 Democrat, said the party will be prepared to consider a bill without Republicans “if we have to go that route.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told colleagues in a letter Wednesday that the House is “working on coronavirus relief legislation as a basis for reconciliation, should that step be needed.”