DeVos says she fought 'behind the scenes' for Special Olympics funding

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDeVos forgives 1,500 student loans amid federal lawsuit Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism Education Department finalizes new regulations to relax college-accreditation requirements MORE on Thursday said she sees “eye-to-eye” with President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE on the Special Olympics after he overruled her planned budget that cut funding for the program.

“I am pleased and grateful the President and I see eye-to-eye on this issue and that he has decided to fund our Special Olympics grant. This is funding I have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years,” DeVos said in a statement. 

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Trump confirmed Thursday afternoon that he decided to override the Education Department’s proposed budget, which included cutting all of Special Olympics’ roughly $18 million in federal funds.

“The Special Olympics will be funded. I just told my people, ‘I want to fund the special Olympics,’” Trump told reporters.

“I heard about it this morning,” he added. “I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics.”

Trump’s announcement came hours after DeVos defended the cuts in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

"I love Special Olympics," Devos told Congress Thursday, in defense of the cut. "I have given a portion of my salary to Special Olympics. I hope all of this debate inspires private contributions to Special Olympics." 

Last year, DeVos donated about a quarter of her salary to the Special Olympics.

DeVos faced criticism for cutting the program in testimony before Congress twice this week.

“Whoever came up with that idea at [the Office of Management and Budget] gets a Special Olympic Gold Medal for insensitivity,” Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Democratic senators introduce bill to push ICE to stop 'overuse' of solitary confinement Pentagon watchdog declines to investigate hold on Ukraine aid MORE (Ill.) told DeVos at the appropriations hearing on Thursday.