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President Trump backs off Special Olympics funding cut

29 March 2019

And at the end of her statement, she confirmed the basic fact that all the reports got right: Her department cut funds for Special Olympics in its budget.

"I'm a longtime supporter of Special Olympics and proud that Missouri is home to the largest Special Olympics training facility in the world", Sen.

"As you know, [the] budget process within the administration is a collaborative one, and it's been my responsibility to present the budget here on behalf of the administration, the president's budget", she told Durbin. DeVos defended her choices before a congressional committee yesterday saying, "We had to make some hard decisions".

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said last week that the department would review whether any regulations were violated in connection with the scheme. The full budget proposed a decrease of $7.1 billion for education funding overall.

On Wednesday, 10/11 NOW spoke with a Lincoln family who says the Special Olympics school program changed their sons high school experience for the better. That includes getting rid of $18 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics.

ESPN's Julie Foudy, Kevin Negandhi and Jen Lada played major roles in that coverage, and they each took to social media Tuesday to laud the benefits of the Special Olympics.

Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., speaks as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on budget on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 26.

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Tim Shriver, the Special Olympics chairman, said Wednesday that the organization had a complete disagreement with the Trump administration about the importance of the games. "But given our current budget realities, the federal government can not fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations".

This is not the first time that Trump's budget proposal has eliminated funding for Special Olympics. "Why are we cutting all of these programs?" he asked.

"If the federal government has a role to support that, it ought to be investing in kids with special needs", he said.

Pressed on whether she approved the cut to Special Olympics, DeVos said, "No, I didn't personally get involved". That is why federal support of organizations like Special Olympics is so critical.

"The Special Olympics is not a federal program", she concluded. DeVos tweeted about her priorities Tuesday, writing: "In the end, budgets are about priorities". It's a private organization.

Negandhi also posted photos of some Special Olympics participants and noted how their lives had been affected.

However, a president's budget proposal is just that: It requires Congressional approval - or Congress can ignore it entirely - and even Republican lawmakers have split with Trump over some of his requests.

President Trump backs off Special Olympics funding cut