Doha Madani at NBC:
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos struggled before a congressional subcommittee on Tuesday to defend at least $7 billion in proposed cuts to education programs, including eliminating all $18 million in federal funding for the Special Olympics.
Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan pushed DeVos on her proposed cuts to the Special Olympics and other special education programs during her testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee.
When Pocan asked whether she knew how many children would be affected by the elimination of federal funding to the Special Olympics, DeVos said she did not know.
Pocan at that point interrupted the education secretary to point out that the proposed budget includes a 26 percent reduction to state grants for special education and millions of dollars in cuts to programs for students who are blind.
After referring to his own nephews with autism, Pocan asked DeVos, "What is it that we have a problem with, with children who are in special education?"
She replied, “Supporting children with special needs, we have continued to hold that funding at a level amount and in the context of a budget proposal that is a 10 percent reduction."
The congressman stopped DeVos and claimed she was not answering his question.
In @BetsyDeVosED’s budget, there are major cuts to programs like the Special Olympics. Sec. DeVos didn’t know the number of kids who would be hurt by that cut, so I made sure she now knows that 272,000 kids are seeing their support taken away. pic.twitter.com/6ZiOfDU4Ou— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) March 26, 2019