WASHINGTON (CNN) - After lunching with Republican senators Tuesday, President Bush said "now is the time" to pass a comprehensive immigration bill, and he urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make that happen.
The bill has been stalled in Congress since Thursday night, when the Democratic-controlled Senate voted to halt debate, thereby preventing the bill onto the floor for a vote.
"Some members in there (the lunch room) believe we need to move a comprehensive bill, some don't," Bush told reporters in a Capitol hallway. "I understand that. It's a highly emotional issue.
"But those of us standing here believe now is time to move to a comprehensive bill that enforces borders and has good workplace enforcement, that doesn't grant automatic citizenship, that addresses this problem in a comprehensive way.
"I believe without the bill, it'll be harder to enforce our borders."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky., said there was "good give and take" at the meeting, and sounded optimistic about the bill's chances. However, many senators remained against the measure, he told the media after Bush left the microphone.
"We didn't expect anybody to stand up and holler that they had a epiphany," McConnell added. "I do believe this bill is about 85 percent through, to the finish line."
Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, the minority whip, said, "The president made it clear to us that he won't sign just any bill. ... There are still problems remaining with it, and he wants to work with us to get this job done."
– CNN's Emily McCulloch contributed to this report