WASHINGTON -- House Republican leadership is considering tying the approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to any legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling, GOP aides confirmed to The Huffington Post on Wednesday.

The provision is one of many that Republican leadership is entertaining as a consolation for paying the country's bills on time. The president has already pledged not to negotiate one iota over the debt ceiling hike, so this possible gambit would very likely be rebuffed.

Still, Republicans are planning to press the issue. On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) reportedly told his colleagues to attach the pipeline to any legislation to raise the debt ceiling, increasing the chances of a default should the debt ceiling be reached sometime in mid- to late October.

"It's on the table," said a House GOP aide, with respect to Keystone. Another aide confirmed as much but wouldn't say how hard the caucus would push the matter. "We're not going to characterize the table," the aide said.

Such a provision will almost certainly roil many Senate Democrats and the White House, who either vehemently oppose the proposed pipeline or are hesitant to approve it without a more complete review of its potential environmental impact.

The pipeline is still awaiting approval from the State Department, and the Obama administration said it would only sign off on the project if it was determined that it would not result in an increase in carbon emissions. Republicans have long argued that the project would be an immediate job creator and have sought through various legislative pushes to pressure the president to approve it.

Tying the pipeline to the debt ceiling would be the highest-stakes effort to date. The strategy dates back to May, when the Washington Post reported that House Republicans were considering the addition of a slew of conditions, including Keystone and a late-term abortion ban, to raising the debt ceiling.

In an email outlining the legislative calendar ahead, one well-positioned lobbyist said that he expected the debt ceiling bill produced by the House to include a number of popular Republican provisions, including the approval of Keystone, a delay of some period in implementing the president's health care law and principles for tax reform.

Reports have also surfaced that Republicans have already settled on a demand for a year's delay of Obamacare as a trade-off for raising the debt ceiling.

But the first Republican aide quoted above called those stories premature.

"It's absolutely one of the possible outcomes of a debt limit negotiation, and likely, given the president's proclivity for delaying sections of this law," said the aide. "Whether it's a mandate delay or delaying the law entirely, it depends on a great deal of other factors."

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  • Eric Cantor (R-Va.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 112th Congress (2011-present)

  • Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 110th & 111th Congress (2007-2011)

  • John Boehner (R-Ohio)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 109th Congress (2006-07). Boehner was elected by the Republican conference in Feb. 2006, replacing Roy Blunt. Blunt served as interim Majority Leader after Tom DeLay stepped down in Sept. 2005.

  • Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 109th Congress (2005-06). Blunt was elected as interim leader in Sept. 2005 after Tom DeLay stepped down.

  • Tom DeLay (R-Texas)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 108th & 109th Congress (2003-05). DeLay stepped aside in September 2005.

  • Dick Armey (R-Texas)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 104th-107th Congress (1995-2005)

  • Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 101st-103rd Congress (1989-95). Gephardt was lifted to the role of House Majority Leader in June 1989, when Tom Foley took over the role of Speaker of the House.

  • Thomas Foley (D-Wash.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 100th & 101st Congress (1987-89). Foley was elevated to Speaker of the House in June 1989 after James Wright resigned.

  • James C. Wright Jr. (D-Texas)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 95th-99th Congress (1977-87)

  • Tip O'Neill (D-Mass.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 93rd & 94th Congress (1973-77)

  • Hale Boggs (D-La.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 92nd Congress (1971). Boggs (pictured middle) was presumed dead in an Oct. 1972 plane crash.

  • Carl Albert (D-Okla.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 87th-91st Congress (1962-1971). Albert was elected to the post after John McCormack's Jan. 1962 rise to Speaker of the House.

  • John W. McCormack (D-Mass.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 76th-79th Congress (1940-47), 81st & 82nd Congress (1949-53), and 84th-87th Congress (1955-62). After the death of Sam Rayburn, McCormack was lifted to a new role in Jan. 1962 as Speaker of the House.

  • Charles Halleck (R-Ind.)

    (Pictured center) <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 80th & 83rd Congress (1947-49, 1953-55).

  • Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 75th & 76th Congress (1937-40). Elected Speaker of the House in September 1940 after the death of William Bankhead.

  • William Bankhead (D-Ala.)

    (Pictured far right) <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 74th Congress (1935-36). Elected Speaker of the House after the death of Joseph Byrns. According to Congressional records, John J. O'Connor served the final 14 days of Bankhead's term, but was never formally elected.

  • Joseph W. Byrns (D-Tenn.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 73rd Congress (1933-35). In Jan. 1935, Byrns was sworn in as House Speaker.

  • Henry Rainey (D-Ill.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 72nd Congress (1931-33)

  • John Tilson (R-Conn.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 69th-71st Congress (1925-31)

  • Nicholas Longworth (R-Ohio)

    (Back row, 2nd from right) <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 68th Congress (1923-25)

  • Frank Mondell (R-Wyo.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 66th & 67th Congress (1919-23)

  • Claude Kitchin (D-N.C.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 64th & 65th Congress (1915-19)

  • Oscar Underwood (D-Ala.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 62nd & 63rd Congress (1911-15)

  • Sereno Payne (R-N.Y.)

    <a href="http://artandhistory.house.gov/house_history/leaders.aspx">House Majority Leader</a>, 56th-61st Congress (1899-1911)