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

Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosThe Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan DeVos family of Michigan ends support for Amash The Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget 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 PocanTrump-Pelosi fight threatens drug pricing talks Democrats seize on IRS memo in Trump tax battle The Memo: Trump allies see impeachment push backfiring on Democrats 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 TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit 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.