Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosGOP lawmakers urge Cardona against executive student loan wipeout More insidious power grab than one attempted Jan. 6? Betsy DeVos not running for Michigan governor MORE defended budget cuts to programs including the Special Olympics on Tuesday.
Appearing before a House subcommittee Tuesday to review the department’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, DeVos said, “We had to make some difficult decisions.”
DeVos’s remarks came in response to questions from Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanBiden seeks to build Democratic support among unions Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the American Petroleum Institute — A warning shot on Biden's .5T plan Overnight Defense & National Security — America's longest war ends MORE (D-Wis.), who pressed her on the amount of kids the budget cut would impact.
“I don’t know the number of kids,” DeVos said before Pocan answered that 272,000 kids would be impacted.
“I think Special Olympics is an awesome organization, one that is well supported by the philanthropic sector as well,” DeVos said.
In @BetsyDeVosED’s budget, there are major cuts to programs like the Special Olympics. Sec. DeVos didn’t know the number of kids who would be hurt by that cut, so I made sure she now knows that 272,000 kids are seeing their support taken away. pic.twitter.com/6ZiOfDU4Ou— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 26, 2019
The budget proposed by President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE and supported by DeVos calls for nearly $18 million in cuts to the Special Olympics.
Last year, DeVos donated a portion of her salary to the Special Olympics, according to Politico.
Tuesday was DeVos's first appearance before a Democrat-controlled House panel.
Formerly the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, DeVos was approved as Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Education following a contentious confirmation hearing with strong pushback from Republicans.
DeVos has long been an advocate for school choice, and her proposed budget includes increased charter school funding.