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Life in Congress — it isn’t like in the movies

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The pitch is as expected: How are neighborhood stores supposed to compete when online shops get away without collecting taxes?

Asked for his support, Bishop pivots. What’s Plan B, he asks. Bishop stays noncommittal but shakes group members’ hands as they leave.

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Thirty minutes to spare before a Republican Study Committee, and Bishop fills it with another briefing on legislation. What about lunch? "I don’t," he deadpans.

The members-only meeting lasts 45 minutes. And lunch is served.

An hour later, Bishop jaunts over to a closed-door Republican caucus meeting on immigration, passing — through another tunnel — what seems like every credentialed reporter at the Capitol.

The congressman and about 200 of his House Republican colleagues cloistered themselves in a massive meeting room, where for three hours they discussed how they’d handle immigration reform. Bishop took a few moments during the meeting to argue that any immigration reform they pass should allow Border Patrol agents to drive unencumbered onto federally protected lands to pursue border crossers.

As a few members later trickled out, the horde of journalists pounced. But Bishop slipped out another exit and headed to the House floor to vote.

Still going » Just before 7 p.m., Bishop is back in his office to welcome a nervous group of interns from Utah State University.

"I know how much you look forward to these," Bishop says as the pencil-skirt and suit-wearing crowd piles into the office and snatches slices of free pizza.

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Bishop passes on the pie and grabs another Dr Pepper.

Public lands dominate the congressman’s initial remarks, and immigration comes up again. The Senate version, he says, is "just incredibly stupid."

Joshua Blume, an intern from the office of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asks one of the first questions.

"If you could have a cabin in any one national park, which one would it be?" he queries.

"Do you think I like cabins?" Bishop responds. "I am not an outdoors person."

It’s past 8 p.m. when the interns shuffle out. Bishop remains to tackle some of those folks in the "call pile." He later flips the lights off in his office and heads home as the sun sets.

Thursday, it begins all over again.


Isobelle Markham and Matt Canham contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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