On Tuesday, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made an appearance on Capitol Hill to defend her decision to cut federal funding for the Special Olympics.
“We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget,” DeVos said in defense of her proposals.
And the need to make the difficult budget cuts was thanks to her boss, President Trump. Trump’s goal of cutting the federal budget has meant that the Education Department needed to cut costs somewhere, and the Special Olympics was one of the programs on the chopping board.
This fiscal year, the Education Department allocated $17,583,000 for the Special Olympics, making up about a tenth of the total budget for Special Olympics. And, according to The Washington Post, it’s also roughly the same cost of Trump’s last five visits to Mar-a-Lago. Each of the president’s trips to his private resort in Florida since November has drained $3.4 million in taxpayer money, largely because of how expensive it is to transport Trump and his team.
The budget cuts, and consequently DeVos’s decision to cut the Special Olympics, were in part necessitated by a 2017 bill that slashed corporate tax rates. But DeVos herself is more than capable of helping the Special Olympics budget. With an estimated net worth of $1 billion, she is one of the richest women in the country. According to financial disclosures she filed when taking the position in the government, DeVos has at least six investments worth over $25 million and another 30 valued between $5 million and $25 million.