Rep. Van Hollen: Keystone pipeline 'extraneous' to payroll tax cut debate

"We should be dealing with these issues on their own merits, let's get the payroll tax cut piece in place and not add these extraneous matters. Those should be debated on their own merits," said Van Hollen on MSNBC Friday.

The key stumbling block to a final deal on the payroll tax holiday is GOP language intended to pressure the Obama administration into moving up the decision date on the Keystone oil sands pipeline from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.

Van Hollen told MSNBC he supports increasing taxes on millionaires to pay for the payroll tax holiday. 

"Republicans refused to ask very high-income earners, people earning a million dollars a year, to help pay for the offset to provide a payroll tax cut to about 160 million Americans. Since they've refused to pay for it that way we're looking for other ways to pay for it," Van Hollen said.

The Maryland congressman slammed the other side of the aisle for Republican proposals to pay for the tax cut.

"Republicans have proposed increasing Medicare premiums. They've proposed reducing the pensions of federal employees, like the folks at the CIA who helped track down Osama bin Laden. It's like, 'thank you very much for getting him, now we're going to cut your pension,' " Van Hollen said.

House lawmakers are expected to leave town Friday and return next week to deal with extending the payroll tax holiday.

For the latest on the payroll tax holiday extension, click here.