That issue, he said, is the philosophical difference between the House and the Senate majorities over the need for debt reduction. Immigration reform, he said, is a "tactical, mechanical" difference.
Still, Bishop warned, immigration reform will take time. But he said the 2014 mid-term elections in Congress won't make the issue more toxic politically, even though both parties are fighting for control.
The chances of passing a series of reforms will "be decent. It's not going to be more political in 2014 than it is now," Bishop said, noting Congress will return from summer recess next month.
Bishop said he was not certain what the House bill dealing with immigrants already in the country illegally would look like or what he would be willing to support.
Other legislation, like making more visas available to technical workers, should be easier to get passed, he said, while it may be more difficult to come up with an acceptable way to accommodate the children of immigrants here illegally.
After the hourlong meeting, Wheelwright said sitting down with Bishop was an opportunity to remind the congressman that his constituents are concerned about more than border security when it comes to immigration reform.
He said the business community will continue to push for immigration reform. "I remain cautiously optimistic," Wheelwright said.
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