House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Sunday that he may block an extension of the payroll tax holiday if President Barack Obama does not approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
"We're going to do everything we can to make sure that this Keystone pipeline is in fact approved," the Speaker told Fox News host Chris Wallace.
"Are you saying you may link the Keystone pipeline to extending the payroll tax holiday?" Wallace asked.
"We may," Boehner admitted. "As I say, all options are on the table."
"Why not demand that if he wants the payroll tax cut, he has to approve it?" Wallace urged. "In other words, it comes with it. You want the payroll tax cut, the pipeline goes with it."
"All options are on the table," Boehner repeated.
Wallace also noted that during his upcoming annual State of the Union speech, Obama would ask for more help for the middle class, propose that the wealth pay more taxes and suggest a "grand bargain" to cut the deficit and raise the nation's debt limit.
"It sounds to me like the same old policies that we've seen," Boehner complained. "And if that's what the president's going to talk about Tuesday night, I think it's pathetic."
Last week, the Obama administration rejected TransCanada Corp.’s plan to pipe Canadian oil sands through sensitive environmental areas to Gulf Coast refineries. The 2 percentage point payroll tax cut for 160 million workers expires in February.