Trump: Special Olympics will be funded after proposed cuts

Donald Trump. File photo: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

March 29 (UPI) — President Donald Trump announced a reversal of plans to cut funding from the Special Olympics on Thursday.

Trump told reporters he ordered his administration to undo plans to stop funding the global organization for disabled children that was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968.

“The Special Olympics will be funded, I just told my people,” Trump said. “I have overridden my people.”

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced earlier this week budget recommendations to cut $18 million from the Special Olympics and other programs meant to help teachers and students while increasing funding for charter schools earlier this week.

She described the cuts as as necessary to offset measures from Congress to increase the federal education budget with programs that do not work. She justified the move by saying that private companies have provided funding for the Special Olympics in the past and the budget still allocated funds for disabled children.

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DeVos welcomed Trump’s announcement Thursday.

“I am pleased and grateful the president and I see eye to eye on this issue, and that he’s decided to fund our Special Olympics grant,” she said. “This is funding I have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years.”

The initial decision to cut the funding was met with backlash from members of Congress.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who chairs the appropriations education subcommittee, said it was likely Congress would ignore the proposed cuts as it had in previous years.

“There are programs here that are unlikely to be eliminated in any final budget,” he said.

During the appropriations hearing, Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., told DeVos he thought the proposed cuts were “shameful.”

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