Emerging from a White House meeting with President Obama, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed optimism that House Republicans are willing to reform the nation's immigration system, even though they prefer a piecemeal approach to the comprehensive plan passed in the Senate.
"Yesterday was an encouraging day on the path to immigration reform," Schumer told reporters. "It seemed a large percentage of the House realized that doing nothing was not an option. Speaker Boehner and the Republican leadership realized that doing nothing is not an option. We realize their views are not the same as ours, but certainly the idea that they want to move forward on immigration reform is very, very encouraging."
"Our message to our colleagues in the House is we are ready to negotiate. We are ready to talk. We are ready to sit down with you and negotiate and bring this issue to a conclusion," McCain said.
Their comments come one day after House Republicans announced plans to adopt a step-by-step approach to tackling the problem, rejecting the comprehensive bill passed by the Senate two weeks ago.
McCain said he has not given up on a pathway to citizenship, a major sticking point in the debate. "We must address the issue of 11 million people who are living in the shadows in this country. That is an unacceptable situation," he said.
McCain praised the president's handling of the issue, admitting that Obama is "walking a careful line" politically.