This is a rush transcript from "Your World," March 17, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF "YOUR WORLD": All right, now Libya today threatening to kill civilians or anyone who gets in its way, a country that, up until now, has been receiving millions in U.S. aid, $7.6 million since 2008. This is a pretty rich country.
A bill just introduced seeks to shut off aid to foreign countries that don't like us. It calls for a separate vote on funding for every country receiving taxpayer dough.
My next guest sponsoring it. Texas Republican Congressman Ted Poe joins me now.
Congressman, I think it's a great idea, but, all of a sudden, everyone's going to say, oh, we love you, we love you. So, how do you avoid that?
REP. TED POE,R-TEXAS: Well, right now, Neil, what we do as members of Congress, we vote on one bill, and we put all 150-plus countries in that bill that receive some type of foreign aid from the United States.
So, for example, if we want to send money to Israel, which I support, Israel we also have to put in the 150-some-odd cases, countries. This chart here shows the countries we give some aid to. The red are the countries that we give foreign aid and maybe military aid as well. The green are countries that receive some form of military aid. And the very handful of blue countries, those receive no U.S. aid.
And you know that we give...
CAVUTO: Who receives -- who receives nothing from us?
POE: Well, Ireland receives nothing from us, France, Iran.
CAVUTO: Ireland? We don't give anything to Ireland on this day...
POE: We don't give anything.
CAVUTO: All right. And Iran. I guess we don't give anything to Iran.
POE: But we don't give any to Iran or France. Those countries don't receive it.
But the troubling part is the countries that do receive it...
POE: ... which include Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, and China for some reason? Why do we give foreign aid to China?
CAVUTO: Why do we give foreign aid at all? Maybe in Israel's case, it is strategic and all that. But Ron Paul was here not too long ago, Congressman. And he said we're just wasting it. We are trying to buy friendships to get people to like us and maybe even attach strings to it in case, if we -- if we keep giving you money, will you keep being nice, will you keep preaching our interests in the region?
And maybe, for a while, you do, but if that's how you buy friendship, friendship has a way of going.
POE: Well, it's obvious. Most of the countries we give aid to certainly do not like us. They vote against us in the United Nations. And certainly we do not need to pay countries to hate us. They can do it on their own.
But Congress should at least vote up-or-down country per country, and let that country's aid fall or stand on a case-by-case basis, rather than putting all the countries in one piece of legislation. And that's the obligation of Congress. It's an accountability issue. And the time has come for us to look at every country and see whether they should get any aid or no aid.
CAVUTO: I'm really shocked, Congressman, that that hasn't been done already. There are enough countries on Earth where they can't fit under the same umbrella, you know?
POE: Well, I don't know why it hasn't been done. That's a -- it's a traditional problem with Congress, where we have more than one piece of legislation in one piece of legislation. We have several subjects.
POE: Time is long overdue that we deal with one subject and one piece of legislation, not add a bunch of other things.
CAVUTO: No, I think it's a brilliant idea, Congressman.
Here's my worry, though. If I'm parceling out dough, right? Let's say I am a rich guy. Let's say I'm Sean Hannity, and I'm just -- and Sean will do this -- he will stand outside the corner, just throw money to people.
And I'm wondering, I will say I love you if you are going to give me money, right, and that if that's -- is there another test attached to that that goes beyond someone saying I love you?
POE: Well, we should not base it on what they say. We should base it all foreign aid on American interests, not on the interests of this other country, what is good for them, but what's good for the United States.
And we have not done that. We have given aid for all kinds of reasons and no reasons. We should look and see whether American interests are in play in giving foreign aid or military aid to any country, make that decision, vote up-or-down country for country.
CAVUTO: All right, thank you, Congressman, very much.
POE: Thank you, Neil.
CAVUTO: By the way, I was just kidding about the Sean Hannity thing.
CAVUTO: He doesn't throw money outside the front street. He actually goes sometimes to the other street.
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