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

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 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 PocanOn the USMCA, Pelosi can't take yes for an answer Overnight Defense: House approves 3 billion defense bill | Liberal sweeteners draw progressive votes | Bill includes measure blocking Trump from military action on Iran House approves defense bill after adding liberal sweeteners MORE (D-Wis.), who pressed her on the amount of kids the budget cut would impact.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist 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.