GOP senator vows to block Betsy DeVos’s funding cuts to the Special Olympics

This Wednesday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said that funding cuts to the Special Olympics proposed by the Trump administration would not go through on his watch.

“I’m a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics and proud that Missouri is home to the largest Special Olympics training facility in the world,” Blunt said in a statement, according to The Hill.

“I was just at the World Games and saw, as I have many times before, what a huge impact the organization has on athletes, their families, and their communities. Our Department of Education appropriations bill will not cut funding for the program,” he added.

Blunt’s statement comes in the wake of backlash over Education Secretary Betsy DeVos‘s proposed federal funding cuts to the Special Olympics which were included in her budget for the upcoming fiscal year — a cut that amounted to $18 million.

Responding to the backlash, DeVos accused the media of getting the facts wrong.

“The Special Olympics is not a federal program. It’s a private organization. I love its work, and I have personally supported its mission,” she said. “But given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations.”

According to DeVos, the Special Olympics would be better served if it was funded by philanthropists.

“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.

Featured image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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