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GOP Senator: Time ‘Running Out’ to Pass Trump Agenda

GOP senators hold a news conference in the Capitol to encourage the Senate to work through the August recess on July 11, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

WASHINGTON – Republican senators who successfully lobbied Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to truncate lawmakers’ summer break said today that with limited working days left between now and the end of the fiscal year they have to tackle multiple items on President Trump’s agenda.

“The president basically said at the first of the year that there were four major priorities this year. One was healthcare, one was regulation, one was tax and one was the Supreme Court,” Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) said during a press conference with a group of GOP senators.

“We’re moving on most of those, but right now even if we get through healthcare in the next week or two, between now and the end of the fiscal year, we only have 31 working days left and we have the debt ceiling to get through, the budget for 2018, the reconciliation that goes with that and the appropriations process to fund the government before September 30,” he added.

Perdue said not taking the traditional August recess is “much bigger” than repealing and replacing Obamacare.

“We need to get to this tax bill. This bill is the final chapter in getting this economy going that the president laid out earlier this year,” Perdue said. “We just want to make sure we have plenty of time to get all of that done.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) compared Congress to struggling college students.

“We’ve got healthcare. We’ve got budgets. We’ve only got 31 scheduled days in the Senate between now and the end of our fiscal year, Sept. 30, to get a budget passed. This past year we were 7 months into the fiscal year before we finally passed a budget,” Daines said.

“So I don’t see any reason why we need to be leaving this town in August. We should be here doing the people’s business. If you were going to school and you were getting failing grades in your spring semester, you better stay in school for the summer and go to summer school, not take a recess,” he added.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) agreed with Daines.

“What we don’t have is time. What we are running out of is time … so what do we do? We can create more time. We can do that,” Sullivan said.

After the senators’ presser, McConnell announced he would trim the five-week break by two weeks, letting lawmakers go home the third week of August.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said there’s an “enormous amount” of work for Congress to do and that the Senate’s “artificially imposed” deadlines do not “serve the interest” of the American people.

“Whether you are on the left end of the political spectrum or the right end or somewhere in between, it’s difficult to dispute the fact that there’s a lot that needs to be done,” Lee said.

China’s Role in Hollywood Grows With Bison Takeover of Cinedigm

China’s Role in Hollywood Grows With Bison Takeover of Cinedigm

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/balance-of-power-xi-s-awkward-visit

Bison Capital, a Hong Kong-based investor in film and TV production, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Cinedigm Corp., which creates programs for Netflix Inc. and other online outlets

Bison will buy 20 million newly issued shares of Cinedigm for up to $30 million and provide as much as $10 million in working capital, according to a statement Thursday. Los Angeles-based Cinedigm is also in talks to exchange its 5.5 percent convertible notes due in 2035.

The takeover of Cinedigm, which got its start helping smaller theater chains convert to digital projection, highlights the growing interest Chinese investors have in owning the films and TV shows that play in their fast-growing domestic market.

“Despite its rapid growth, China remains greatly under-served in terms of content quality and diversity,” Peixin Xu, founder of Bison Capital, said in the statement. “We will leverage Cinedigm’s content access and distribution capabilities to bring more premium, independent content into the China market.”

Bison could also “launch Chinese content channels in the North American market,” he said.

Cinedigm has remade itself into an online distributor of niche programs such as art-house films, documentaries and older TV shows like “Hart to Hart” and has online channels including CONtv, for the Comic Con Network. The company had been evaluating takeover approaches over the past couple years, people familiar with the situation said previously.

Bison Capital already has stakes in entertainment-related assets such as Bona Film, according to the statement. It will also work with Cinedigm to refinance and retire its debt. The company had $149 million in long-term obligations as of Dec. 31.