American Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has come under fire for proposing to cut funding which supports the Special Olympics.
The 61-year-old revealed that nearly $18 million (£14 million/€16 million) could be diverted away from the organisation which provides sport for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
DeVos appeared in front of a Subcommittee to explain the proposed budget of the Department of Education for the next fiscal year.
Republican President Donald Trump has proposed funds of $4.7 trillion (£3.5 trillion/€4.1 trillion), which would still mean a cut of $7 billion (£5.2 billion/€6.2 billion).
The Subcommittee was led by the Democratic Party, which now controls the House of Representatives.
This means much of the budget will likely fail to pass and it could be changed significantly.
Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan told DeVos that 270,000 children would be impacted by cuts to Special Olympics funding.
But DeVos said "difficult decisions" had to be made on the budget and argued the organisation could be backed by philanthropy.
She herself has donated a portion of her salary to the Special Olympics.
"I think the Special Olympics is an awesome organisation, one that is supported by the philanthropic sector as well," she said.
Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, was among those to criticise the plan, however.
"We should support athletes with disabilities, not rip away their opportunities," she said on Twitter.
According to USA Today, the budget also calls for "eliminating billions in grants to improve student achievement by reducing class sizes and funding professional development for teachers as well as cutting funds dedicated to increasing the use of technology in schools and improving school conditions".
It proposes more funding for charter schools, which receive Government money but operate more independently.
The Subcommittee's chair Rosa DeLauro called the budget "cruel and reckless".
"We ask Federal, State and local Governments to join Special Olympics in remaining vigilant against any erosion of provisions that have made a substantial difference in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities," Special Olympics communications director Tara Baker said to Yahoo News.
Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates hosted the Special Olympics World Summer Games this month.
DeVos met with American athletes in February.