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John Shedd, 85, loads a container with Bt-corn harvested from his son's farm. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty

Republicans are fuming at the Trump administration's plans to offer $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers hurt by retaliatory tariffs — with several lawmakers calling the funds "gold crutches," and comparing the proposal to something out of Soviet Russia.

Why it matters: This mass dissension from the right calls into question the overall effect of Trump's trade war. Agricultural groups and Democrats have also been critical of package.

What they're saying
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.): The situation is "more and more like a Soviet-type of economy here. Commissars in the administration trying to figure out how they’re going to  sprinkle around benefits ... Farmers actually want the free market system to work as best as possible and they want access to these overseas markets."
  • Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.): "The administration finally seems to understand that the Trump-Pence tariffs are hurting the American people ... Instead of offering welfare to farmers to solve a problem they themselves created, the administration should reverse course and end this incoherent policy."
  • Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.): "Tariffs are taxes that punish American consumers and producers ... the answer is remove the tariffs."
  • Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.): “This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches. America’s farmers don’t want to be paid to lose they want to win by feeding the world."
  • Brian Kuehl, Director of Farmers for Free Trade: “Farmers need contracts, not compensation, so they can create stability and plan for the future. This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs."
  • Republican senators Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Mike Rounds (S.D.), Lisa Murkowski, (Alas.) John Thune (S.D.), Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa) have also come out hard against the plan.

Meanwhile, the president seems eager to stick to his guns, tweeting this morning that "Tariffs are the greatest!" and "All will be Great!"

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Smaller than expected "Justice for J6" rally met with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: About 400 to 450 people were inside the protest area, excluding law enforcement, U.S. Capitol Police said.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.

4 hours ago - World

Pope Francis urges bishops to listen to survivors of sexual abuse

Pope Francis rides his Pope mobile through a crowd of pilgrims before holding an open-air mass on September 15, 2021 in Sastin, Slovakia. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Pope Francis on Saturday urged European bishops to listen to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, saying "these important discussions truly touch the future of the church," AP reports.

Driving the news: Francis spoke in a video message to Central and Eastern European bishops who are convening in Poland for a four-day child protection conference beginning on Sunday.