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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosHillicon Valley: Twitter says Trump 'go back' tweet didn't violate rules | Unions back protests targeting Amazon 'Prime Day' | Mnuchin voices 'serious concerns' about Facebook crypto project | Congress mobilizes on cyber threats to electric grid House Oversight panel demands DeVos turn over personal email records A brief timeline of Trump's clashes with intelligence director Dan Coats MORE on Thursday said she sees “eye-to-eye” with President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade 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 DurbinDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Senate approves long-delayed tax treaties in win for business MORE (Ill.) told DeVos at the appropriations hearing on Thursday.