Betsy DeVos defends Special Olympics budget cuts: 'We had to make some difficult decisions' 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosThere 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 Trump assault on women's choice continues despite pandemic 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 PocanHouse members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Merger moratorium takes center stage in antitrust debate Overnight Defense: Pentagon memo warns pandemic could go until summer 2021 | Watchdog finds Taliban violence is high despite US deal | Progressive Dems demand defense cuts MORE (D-Wis.), who pressed her on the amount of kids the budget cut would impact.

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“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.

The budget proposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel 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.