Monday 21 October 2019

Trump backs off proposals to cut Special Olympic funds

US President Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US President Donald Trump. Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria Newsdesk Newsdesk

US President Donald Trump overrode his budget team and backed funding for the Special Olympics after his proposed cuts to the athletic programme drew heavy fire from both Republicans and Democrats.

Trump's proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, which he released earlier this month, would have scrapped funding for the Special Olympics, which has an allocation of $17.6bn (€15.6bn) this fiscal year.

There was no sign Congress was going to agree to defund the popular Special Olympics programme in spite of Trump's proposal. He had sought to cut funding last year as well and lawmakers added the funding back into the budget.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had struggled to defend the proposal in testimony to Congress and both Trump's Republicans and opposition Democrats had denounced the move.

The Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organisation for children and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities.

Talking to reporters, Trump said he had just heard about the controversy yesterday.

"I've been to the Special Olympics, I think it's incredible and I just authorized a funding," Trump said. "I heard about it this morning. I have overridden my people. We're funding the Special Olympics."

Irish Independent

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