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Foreign Aid: A Time to Reconsider

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I want to follow up on what my friend has just said about cutting Federal spending. I agree, cutting $400 billion is really not much of a cut, especially in these times when Congress continues to spend more and more money. So let's talk about some specific areas where we ought to reconsider putting taxpayer money, and maybe it's time to reconsider our foreign aid that we send to countries throughout the world.

There are about 192 foreign countries in the world, give or take two that sometimes exist and sometimes don't. So there's 192 countries, and we give foreign aid to over 150 of them. Now, this map over here to my left shows the world, and most of it is in red. All of those countries that are in red on this map receive American taxpayer foreign aid. The countries in green receive military aid from the United States, which is almost all of the countries in the world. There are a few countries in Europe and one part in Africa that are in blue that receive no American aid. But the vast majority receive American money, and we just keep sending it and sending it and sending it, and we send it to countries that many Americans don't even understand why we send it to those countries, and I'm going to address some of those.

But here's how it works, Mr. Speaker, and this rule needs to be changed. When a country wants foreign aid, all of the foreign aid that America gives is put into one bill. In other words, when we write a check, we're writing a check on one bill. For example, we don't separate the countries one at a time and vote up or down on whether they ought to get American money. I think if we did that, most of these countries in red wouldn't be seeing any American money. With the way the rule works, we put all 150-plus countries in one package, and we vote for all of them.

Now, I personally think it's good for the United States foreign policy that we support Israel, that we send them foreign aid and military aid. We ought to keep doing that. But if we want to continue to send aid to Israel, we've got to send it to other countries like Egypt and Pakistan and some others.

Right now in the crisis in Egypt, maybe it's time that we reconsider sending aid to Egypt. You know, if the Muslim Brotherhood takes over that country of Egypt, the world's in a lot of trouble. And we've all seen on television those tanks going up and down those highways and the city of Cairo. Those are American tanks. They came from American taxpayers. It would be a tragedy if those tanks and other foreign aid ends up in that radical group, the Muslim Brotherhood. Take over the government. We don't know. Time to reconsider Egypt.

But, you know, we also give money to Pakistan--Pakistan is on the border with Afghanistan--and it's given in the name of helping that country. Pakistan doesn't support us, I think, adequately in our war on terror in Afghanistan, but yet we continue to give them money.

But here is something that most Americans may not know about. We give money to Venezuela. Why do we give money to Chavez and Venezuela? He hates the United States. He defies our President, makes fun of our Nation. We don't need to give him any foreign aid.

We give $20 million to Cuba. Why do we give money to Cuba? Americans can't even go to Cuba. It's off limits. It's a communist country. But we're dumping money over there.

And we even give foreign aid to this massive country over here, Russia, that used to be called the USSR.

And the zinger of them all, this country. Even though we are in debt $45,000 per American, and most of that debt is owned by the Chinese, this Nation gives foreign aid to our good buddies the Chinese.

Why do we do that? It doesn't make any sense, and it's time to reevaluate our foreign aid policy. It's a time to reconsider. And let's start voting up or down on every one of these countries that want our aid.

And last thing I want to say is most of these countries we give money to, they don't even like us. There was a poll done by FOX News yesterday that said 82 percent of the people in Egypt don't even like Americans. Well, why do we keep giving them money? We don't need to pay them to hate us. As my friend Louie Gohmert from Texas says: ``We don't need to pay them to hate us. They can do it on their own.''

So it's time we reconsider foreign aid and save American taxpayers money. We are at war in two countries now. This debt is tremendous. We have a lot of issues in this country, and we need to start taking care of America before we start sending American money to countries throughout the world. It's a time to reconsider foreign aid.

And that's just the way it is.


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