Trump backs off Special Olympics funding cut

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President Donald Trump speaks before awarding the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Travis Atkins with Atkins’ son Trevor Oliver, 22, accepting the posthumous recognition for conspicuous gallantry in Iraq in June 2007, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday March 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

President Donald Trump says he is backing off a budget request to cut funding for the Special Olympics, after days of criticism.

Trump told reporters at the White House Thursday, “I’ve overridden my people for funding the Special Olympics.”

The Trump administration’s education budget proposal calls for the elimination of $17.6 million in funding for the Special Olympics, roughly 10 percent of the group’s overall revenue.

Democrats pressed Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on the topic during a Senate budget hearing Thursday, just days after House Democrats grilled her on the proposal and sparked criticism online.

DeVos said she “wasn’t personally involved” in pushing for elimination of the funding, but she defended it as her agency seeks to cut $7 billion from the 2020 budget.

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