Nick Pappas: Cut 5 Trump Golf Outings & Save The Special Olympics

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is proposing substantial cuts to several programs within her department. One of those programs she wants to cut has raised many an eyebrow in Washington and beyond.

BEIJING – APRIL 10: US swimmer Michael Phelps (C) signs an autograph for Special Olympic swimmers at a swimming clinic at a school April 10, 2007 in Beijing, China. Phelps and his teammates are on a goodwill trip to Beijing and Shanghai to promote swimming and the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. (Photo by Guang Niu/Getty Images)

DeVos is proposing a 10 percent cut to Special Olympics funding, HuffPost reported, an idea that received condemnation from several lawmakers during a subcommittee hearing she was speaking at.

When asked by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin) how many children the program would affect, DeVos said she didn’t know off the top of her head. “It’s 272,0000 kids,” Pocan responded.

“We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget,” DeVos tried to explain.

But her explanations have largely fallen on critical ears. A comedy writer on Twitter recently also called out DeVos’s proposals, pointing out that keeping the program funded could be as simple as reining in her boss’s own vacation travels.

“The Special Olympics cost around $18 million,” Nick Jack Pappas wrote on Twitter Tuesday. That’s “about the same as five of [President Donald] Trump’s golf trips to Mar-a-Lago.”

“It’s not a difficult decision. It’s an evil one,” Pappas added.

As of February, Trump has spent 91 days as president at his Mar-a-Lago estate, per reporting from NBC News. And according to Time, time spent at his favorite Florida property costs taxpayers around $1 million per day.

DeVos’s cuts are an attempt at trying to create savings of around $7 billion total within her department. But she has been chastised by others for her decision to cut programs that have generally had popular support in the past.

“Madam Secretary, I have to say, and maybe it’s offensive: Shame on you,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, said to DeVos in the same committee hearing.

According to its website, the mission of the Special Olympics is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

DeVos’s proposed cuts aren’t likely to become law anytime soon. Similar cuts were proposed under a Republican-led Congress in the previous term. With Democrats now in charge of the House of Representatives, such cuts aren’t likely to make it out of committee, much less attain the approval of that chamber as a whole.

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