Boehner: Nothing off table on pipeline

Jan. 23, 2012 at 11:19 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans are considering whether to attach approval of a controversial oil sands pipeline to a payroll tax cut bill.

While not committing to the possibility during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," Boehner said, "We may. But as I said, all options are on the table."

Political observers told The Hill forcing a showdown with Democrats and the White House over the Keystone pipeline project is a gamble for House Republicans, who suffered political fallout when they spent several days balking at the two-month extension of the tax cut in December.

"Every option is on the table," Boehner said on "Fox News Sunday." "We're going to do everything we can to try to make sure that this Keystone pipeline is, in fact, approved."

Last week the Obama administration rejected TransCanada Corp.'s proposed pipeline that would bring Canadian oil sands to U.S. refineries. Obama had until Feb. 21 deadline to decide about the project under a GOP provision to the two-month payroll extension enacted in December.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., suggested during the recent House GOP retreat that he would seek inclusion of Keystone provisions in the payroll bill. Upton is a member of the bicameral committee negotiating the payroll tax cut extension.

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