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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosEducation Department releases wage, debt data for specific college majors DeVos forgives 1,500 student loans amid federal lawsuit Warren campaign launches 'a calculator for the billionaires' after Gates criticism 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 PocanGOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' House progressives to push for floor amendments on Pelosi drug price bill How Trump and Pelosi went from bad to worse 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 TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate 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.