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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon't abandon standardized testing in schools next year — rethink it There is a way to determine risk in bailouts for higher education Bipartisan group of lawmakers calls on DeVos to issue guidance on child abuse reporting amid pandemic MORE on Thursday said she sees “eye-to-eye” with President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice says it will recommend Trump veto FISA bill Fauci: Nominating conventions may be able to go on as planned Poll: Biden leads Trump by 11 points nationally 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 DurbinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Senators weigh traveling amid coronavirus ahead of Memorial Day Congress headed toward unemployment showdown MORE (Ill.) told DeVos at the appropriations hearing on Thursday.