Utah Congressman Rob Bishop addressed legislators Thursday, offering a brief update on federal legislative action and taking questions from lawmakers.

Bishop lauded legislators for their hard work and made special note of efforts made on behalf of legislation that does not make it into the news.

"Much of what you do I will never hear about, see or read ... all of you are working on hundreds of issues behind the scenes," Bishop said. "And I appreciate what you do."

Bishop touted his work on protecting federal funding for higher education and warned the legislators to keep an eye on proposed federal changes to how funding for education is computed, noting a new five-year rolling average proposal that could short-change Utah in the future.

Rep. Julie Fisher, R-Fruit Heights, asked Bishop to comment on what is happening with immigration in Washington.

Bishop said last year's failed effort to create a comprehensive immigration bill indicates that the issues should be handled individually.

"You don't need a comprehensive bill ... we can do things on a piecemeal basis," Bishop said. He cited tying the visa cap into unemployment rates and securing national borders as two issues to address on their own.

The most unusual question for Bishop came from Assistant Minority Whip Rep. Carol Moss, D-Holladay, who asked the congressman to confirm a rumor that he is part of a secret group putting together a North American Union.

Bishop took a notable pause before responding, with a smile.

"If I was I wouldn't tell you," he said.

E-mail: araymond@desnews.com