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Immigration reform to play second-fiddle to budget this winter

Dec. 1, 2013 at 1:48 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- A Republican U.S. congressman said Sunday that movement on immigration reform is unlikely this winter until a new budget is passed.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said on ABC's "This Week" that the budget was the top priority issue on Capitol Hill and immigration reform was on the back burner for now.

"Not until we get a budget done," Cole said. "Literally I think the most important thing right now is to make sure we don't have a government shutdown, to make sure that we deal with the debt ceiling."

Cole said a shutdown was unlikely at this point, but he acknowledged a spending plan will require a long process.

"Around here, we can't walk and chew gum," said Cole. "Let's just chew gum for a little while. And right now, chewing gum is getting a budget deal and making sure that we don't default when the debt ceiling comes around."

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