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House Speaker John Boehner told Fox News Sunday that Republicans “may” tie approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to the next extension of the payroll tax cut that President Obama supports. Boehner made it clear that “all options are on the table” to force the president to give his backing to the controversial project, reports Reuters.
“The Keystone pipeline is a prime example of a shovel-ready project that's been through every approval process here in Washington,” Boehner said “We're going to do everything we can to make sure this Keystone pipeline project is approved.”
The White House last week rejected a permit for the $7 billion pipeline that would have brought Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. The administration said it needed more time to review the project.
“Forcing a showdown with Democrats and the White House, however, would be a high-stakes gamble for House Republicans,” notes the Hill. “They suffered political damage when they spent several days resisting the two-month extension of the popular tax cut in December.”
Boehner also said the priorities Obama outlined for his State of the Union speech are “pathetic,” reports Bloomberg. “It sounds to me like the same old policies we’ve seen, more spending, higher taxes, more regulation.”