Betsy DeVos Ripped Over Proposal to Cut All Federal Funding for Special Olympics

March 27, 2019

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came under fire on Tuesday over her proposal to end federal funding for the Special Olympics. “We had to make some difficult decisions,” DeVos said while testifying before the House Appropriations subcommittee on education. New York Magazine notes that her proposed 2020 budget would cut about $8.5 billion from her department overall, while just under $18 million would be eliminated for the Special Olympics. The outlet adds that DeVos has attempted to eliminate the Special Olympics from her department's budget every year since 2017. However, she also called the Special Olympics an “awesome organization" that was “well-supported by the philanthropic sector,” including a quarter of DeVos’s $199,700 salary, which she donated to the nonprofit last year. At Tuesday's hearing, she told Dem. Rep. Mark Pocan she didn't know how many athletes would be affected by proposed cut. He shot back, "It's 272,000 kids." Added Dem. Rep. Barbara Lee, "I still can't understand why you would go after disabled children in your budget. You zeroed that out. It's appalling."