Congressman Larry Bucshon introduced the "Invest in America First Act," H.R. 528, which will prohibit foreign aid from being given to countries with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over $1.5 trillion. Congressman Bucshon released the following comment regarding his bill.
Congressman Bucshon (IN-08) states:
"Our nation's debt has surpassed the $16 trillion mark and we now borrow 42 cents on every dollar we spend. As the House continues our work to cut spending and balance the budget, we need to focus on saving where it makes sense.
"The United States currently provides billions of dollars in foreign aid while we struggle to find the financial resources to live up to the commitments made to our own citizens. Many Americans have been asked to pay more in taxes just to see that money sent to foreign countries that quite frankly do not need it.
"It simply does not make sense for the United States to continue providing foreign aid to nations with large GDPs that often run budget surpluses and hold billions of our U.S. Treasury securities. We are giving them money, only to then borrow it back with interest.
"Hardworking Americans are cutting back and responsibly budgeting their resources, this bill is a necessary step for the government to do the same. We must stop mortgaging our children's future to pay for irresponsible, unnecessary spending today. It's time we put America first, and this legislation does that."
Full text of H.R. 528 can be accessed here.
The Invest in America First Act would prohibit Congress and the President from giving nonmilitary foreign aid to countries that have a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over $1.5 trillion. There are exemptions for humanitarian and security aid. Humanitarian aid could be given in the event of a natural disaster in the form of supplies and materials, but not just a lump sum of money. Security aid could be given to countries for security threats that are deemed dangerous to the national security of United States.
For instance, in Fiscal Year 2010, the U.S. gave China $27.2 million in foreign aid, even though they hold over $1.1 trillion in U.S. Treasury securities. The same year, the U.S. gave Russia $71.5 million in aid even though they hold over $168 billion in U.S. Treasury securities.
From 2008-2012, the United States provided roughly $3.225 billion in foreign aid to countries whose GDPs are over $1.5 trillion.
Below is a list of those countries that currently have a GDP over $1.5 trillion and the foreign aid they receive from the U.S.