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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosClarence Thomas, Joe Manchin, Rudy Giuliani among guests at second state visit under Trump DeVos says Trump 'could talk about education more' Republicans to hand out 'baseball cards' mocking Gary Peters in Michigan MORE on Thursday said she sees “eye-to-eye” with President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' 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 DurbinOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes | Senators press FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately | House panel tees up e-cig hearing for next week Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers say Zuckerberg to 'cooperate' on antitrust probes | Dems see victory after McConnell backs election security funds | Twitter takes down fake pro-Saudi accounts Bipartisan group of senators urges FDA to pull most e-cigarettes immediately MORE (Ill.) told DeVos at the appropriations hearing on Thursday.