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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: GoDaddy CEO Aman Bhutani says DC policymakers need to do more to support ventures and 'solo-preneurs'; Federal unemployment benefits expire as coronavirus deal-making deadlocks Democrats look to go on offense in debate over reopening schools Pence, DeVos visit North Carolina school to advocate reopening 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 PocanProgressive Caucus co-chair: Reported oversight change in intelligence office 'seems a bit...fascist' House approves amendments to rein in federal forces in cities House Democrats backtrack, will pull Homeland Security bill 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 TrumpMark Kelly clinches Democratic Senate nod in Arizona Trump camp considering White House South Lawn for convention speech: reports Longtime Rep. Lacy Clay defeated in Missouri Democratic primary 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.