GOP senator says Special Olympics cuts will not be approved

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators begin informal talks on new coronavirus stimulus Five things being discussed for a new coronavirus relief bill Hillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike MORE (R-Mo.), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that determines Department of Education funding levels, on Wednesday rejected the Trump administration's proposed cuts to the Special Olympics.

"I’m a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics and proud that Missouri is home to the largest Special Olympics training facility in the world," Blunt said in a statement.

"I was just at the World Games and saw, as I have many times before, what a huge impact the organization has on athletes, their families, and their communities. Our Department of Education appropriations bill will not cut funding for the program," he added. 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosCoronavirus bill allows DeVos to waive parts of federal special education law: NYT Students with disabilities could lose with COVID-19 stimulus package White House slams pastor leading Cabinet Bible studies for linking homosexuality, coronavirus MORE has come under fire recently for her agency's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes $18 million in federal funding cuts to the Special Olympics.

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DeVos has defended what she calls "difficult decisions," saying that while she supports the organization, it raises more than $100 million every year in private donations.

"Given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations," she said Wednesday. 

DeVos’s proposed 2020 budget would decrease overall funding for her department by 12 percent.

The budget proposal already had a slim chance of being approved by the Democrat-controlled House.