(CNSNews.com) – President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he has directed his administration to fund the Special Olympics after public backlash against the Education Department’s 2020 budget proposal completely cut funding for the organization.
Speaking to reporters prior to heading to Grand Rapids, Mich., the president was asked why he would cut funding for the Special Olympics.
“The Special Olympics will be funded. I just told my people, ‘I want to fund the Special Olympics,’ and I just authorized a funding of the Special Olympics. I've been to the Special Olympics. I think it's incredible, and I just authorized a funding. I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people. We're funding the Special Olympics,” Trump said.
As CNSNews.com previously reported, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos faced grilling from Congress in the House on Wednesday and again on Thursday in a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the decision to cut funding for the Special Olympics.
DeVos said she didn’t personally get involved in the decision to cut funding for the Special Olympics.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said “whoever came up with that idea at OMB gets a Special Olympic gold medal for insensitivity.”
In a statement issued Wednesday, DeVos called it “unacceptable, shameful and counterproductive that the media and some members of Congress have spun up falsehoods and fully misrepresented the facts.”
"Make no mistake: we are focused every day on raising expectations and improving outcomes for infants and toddlers, children and youth with disabilities, and are committed to confronting and addressing anything that stands in the way of their success,” she said.
DeVos pointed out that “the Special Olympics is not a federal program. It's a private organization.” She added that she personally supported the organization’s mission and the organization was able to “raise more than $100 million every year.”
“There are dozens of worthy nonprofits that support students and adults with disabilities that don't get a dime of federal grant money. But given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations," she said.