WASHINGTON, D.C. -- House Speaker John Boehner hinted on Sunday that he will attempt, once more, to tie the fate of a long-term extension of the payroll tax cut to approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline.
One week after the president -- citing State Department concerns -- put the kibosh on plans to build a pipeline through the United States for the purposes of carrying crude oil, Boehner told "Fox News Sunday" he would attempt to resuscitate the proposal.
"The Keystone pipeline is the prime example of a shovel-ready project that has been through every approval process here in Washington," he told "Fox News Sunday." "Every option is on the table. We are going to do everything we can to try to make sure that this Keystone pipeline is, in fact, approved."
Asked by host Chris Wallace whether he would try to "link" the pipeline to extending the payroll tax holiday for an additional 10 months after it expires at the end of February, Boehner replied,"We may. But as I said, all options are on the table."
This is, more or less, the same tactic that Republicans deployed when the payroll tax cut extension was being debated at the close of last year. Obama then said that expediting the review process for the pipeline would mean that the State Department reviewers would recommend killing it. And, sure enough, that's what happened.
It's hard to imagine that anything changes if Boehner tries again to link the pipeline proposal to the payroll tax cut. If anything, the political fallout that the GOP suffered in late December might give the president comfort in knowing he can win this fight.