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Government Trump backs off Special Olympics funding cut

Trump backs off Special Olympics funding cut

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The Latest:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a proposal to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics (all times local):

9 p.m.

The Trump administration is reversing itself on a budget request to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics.

President Donald Trump says he has authorized funding for the organization, adding: “I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people.”

Trump’s announcement comes after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos spent days defending the proposal, which drew widespread condemnation from lawmakers, as well as advocates and celebrities.

DeVos has since issued a statement saying she is “pleased and grateful the President and I see eye to eye on this issue and that he has decided to fund our Special Olympics grant.”

She adds that it “is funding I have fought for behind the scenes over the last several years.”

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4:30 p.m.

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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11:50 a.m.

Education Secretary Betsy Devos is facing a new round of scrutiny over a proposal to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics, a cut that lawmakers say is unlikely to be approved.

Senate Democrats are pressing DeVos on the topic during a budget hearing, just after House Democrats grilled her on the proposal and sparked a wave of criticism online.

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

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin says “someone has to accept responsibility for a bad decision.”

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