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“We believe very strongly that Senator Baucus should have an opportunity to see what he can do on a bipartisan basis,” Mr. Reid said during his usual weekly media briefing Thursday. “But I just think we’re getting way ahead of ourselves here.”

When pressed on the matter, the majority leader said flatly that “we’re taking nothing off the table.”

Republicans in recent days have exploited the growing Democratic rift regarding how to proceed with a health care package. Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, accused House Democratic leaders of using parliamentary procedures to “sneak through” nationalized health care.

It’s “a special rule that was never intended to create energy or health care policy for our country - issues so significant that our regular order should prevail,” Mr. Kyl said on the Senate floor Thursday. “If the final budget includes reconciliation instructions for the Senate, Senate Republicans will have no recourse for stopping Democrats.”