RNC Deputy Director of Coalitions Manny Rosales Debates Democrat Spokesperson about Lame Duck Session on "Voice of America"

RNC Deputy Director of Coalitions Manny Rosales appeared on "Voice of America" on Friday, November 19th to debate Democrat Spokesperson Melisa Diaz Hispanic Media / Communications Consultant on a discussion about the lame duck session. 

Patricia Dalmasy was the host. Below are notes and highlights from the debate:

Will we be able to approve a new budget?

Melisa Diaz didn't think so but it should be done. Manny Rosales said the American people have spoken, the Bush tax points should be extended, let new congress deal with the new reality (budget should not pass right now).

Are they going to change the rules regarding filibuster?

Melisa said that Republicans always use this method to stall legislation, even anonymously. Manny said this method has been used in both parties. For example, in the previous Administration, President Bush nominated Estrada to the Supreme Court, which would have made him the first Latino ever on the Supreme Court, but that was obstructed by the Democrats.

What do you think about the earmarks, is Congress going to change the rules or do anything differently about earmarks?

Melisa said earmarks are good in most cases. "I know a guy in a high tech facility who is dependent on the government for funding, if they don't get it, it will cost jobs."  Manny said that this new congress will not support earmarks, most of them are wasteful or are paybacks – mainly pork back to their districts – if they really need it, they should put it in the budget.

We have new legislation about don't ask don't tell? Lieberman says he has 67 votes.

Melisa said it is a civil rights issue, infinging upon rights of those who want to serve.

Manny said the job of the military is being focused on being ready to win. We need to wait for the pentagon's recommendations regarding the rule.

What about the new make up of the congress, is there going to be any changes in the leadership or agenda of the party because of the Tea Party influence?

Melisa said that Republicans are having an internal fight because they have an extreme right influx and that this will be damaging to their agenda.

Manny didn't agree, John Boehner appointed Tea Party representation during the transition, he gave one of his votes to a Tea Party representative in a leadership position.

Boehner has 5 votes in the caucus and gave it to a Tea Party person. Example is Kristi Noem.

Manny Rosales in the green room with Clara Dominguez (center), Managing Editor for Latin America Division of VOA, and guest before the broadcast

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