Rep. Joe Kennedy III. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tries to defend her decision to strip the funding of the Special Olympics, Congressman Joe Kennedy III told WBZ's NightSide with Dan Rea he's livid.
Rep. Kennedy said the Trump administration is trying to make up for the gap in federal funds created by the GOP tax cut, and that they're "balancing that tax cut on the backs of special needs children in our country."
"It's literally unconscionable," Kennedy told Rea.
DeVos claims to "love" the organization, but adds the government can't pay for "every" program—in this case, $18 million. Kennedy told WBZ NewsRadio it isn't up to her—Congress will decide on the budget.
"The House of Representatives starts that appropriations process, and I expect that we will make sure that the funding remains," Kennedy said. "There's been outrage here in congress, and there's been a number of letters and advocacy drives already to make sure that that funding remains."
Education Secretary Defending Nearly $18M In Cuts To Special Olympics
Kennedy stressed that funding the Special Olympics is not a partisan issue.
"Some of the strongest supporters of it are my Republican colleagues here," he said. "The Vice President's wife was just in the Middle East celebrating the World Games about two weeks ago."
Kennedy praised the organization for working to celebrate inclusivity and humanity.
"This is an organization that is dedicated to those that are born different and gets back to a fundamental value that we have in this country, that everybody counts, everybody is worthy, everybody has dignity, and everybody deserves to be celebrated," he said. "I can't think of a better partnership between government non-profit organizations and the people that we're elected to serve. Apparently the Trump Administration felt differently."
"For the life of me, it seems hard to imagine why an administration could possibly prioritize massive tax cuts on the backs of Special Olympics athletes, but this is the same administration that tried to gut Meals On Wheels," Kennedy added.
Listen to Rep. Joe Kennedy III on NightSide with Dan Rea: