WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Thursday that funding for the Special Olympics will not be cut, even though his administration’s latest budget request withheld $18 million for the organization.
“The Special Olympics will be funded,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House en route to Grand Rapids, Mich., for a rally. “I have overridden my people. We’re funding the Special Olympics.”
Trump’s announcement came amid growing criticism of the planned cuts.
In a statement Thursday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended the suggested cuts, noting that the organization, which showcases athletes with intellectual disabilities, is able to easily raise money independently.
“The Special Olympics is not a federal program. It’s a private organization … it is able to raise more than $100 million every year,” DeVos said. “Given our current budget realities, the federal government cannot fund every worthy program, particularly ones that enjoy robust support from private donations.”
Despite Trump’s remarks, the president doesn’t have the ability to decide whether or not the organization is funded.
Congress ultimately makes the final decision on spending matters while the White House budget is basically a suggested roadmap.