Now playing
02:01
DeVos grilled over proposed Special Olympics cuts
US President Joe Biden listens to the US National Anthem during the virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
US President Joe Biden listens to the US National Anthem during the virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service hosted by the Washington National Cathedral, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:02
Biden unveils Covid-19 plan on first full day in office
PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:38
Here's how Biden's Oval Office compares to Trump's
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci looks on during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci looks on during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 21, 2021. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/AFP via Getty Images
Now playing
02:28
Dr. Fauci vows to be 'completely transparent' on Covid-19
mccarthy
mccarthy
Now playing
04:18
McCarthy contradicts himself on Trump's role in insurrection
Now playing
06:30
'Do you feel you were duped?': Burnett presses GOP lawmaker
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:51
Van Jones sounds off on White nationalist movements
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during her first press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
01:48
WH press secretary vows transparency and honesty on first day
Now playing
03:04
Avlon: QAnon supporters left desperate and disillusioned
Now playing
02:30
Pences share a laugh with Vice President Harris and her husband
Now playing
01:12
Kamala Harris sworn in as Vice President
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
President Donald Trump speaks at Joint Base Andrew on Wednesday, January 20.
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:00
See Trump's final message as President as his family looks on
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greets Vice President Mike Pence as she arrives to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC.  During today
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 20: U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris greets Vice President Mike Pence as she arrives to the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today's inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Now playing
01:20
Why the color Kamala Harris is wearing is significant
banon wayne split
banon wayne split
PHOTO: Getty Images
Now playing
02:00
Trump pardons 73 people, commutes sentences of 70 others
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (2nd L) with husband Douglas Emhoff and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) with wife Dr. Jill Biden watch as a Covid-19 Memorial is lighted at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2021 to honor the lives of those lost to Covid-19. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (2nd L) with husband Douglas Emhoff and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) with wife Dr. Jill Biden watch as a Covid-19 Memorial is lighted at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2021 to honor the lives of those lost to Covid-19. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:42
'Striking': Tapper on Biden's Covid-19 memorial being first of its kind
trump farewell message
trump farewell message
PHOTO: White House Photo
Now playing
03:18
Trump offers 'best wishes' to new administration in farewell address
(CNN) —  

For the third year in a row, Democrats dinged Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday for proposing to cut funds from the Special Olympics, after-school programs and support for students from low-income families.

The difference is that this time, Democrats control the House.

“The three education budgets from this administration have proposed the largest cuts to education funding in four decades. That’s since the department was created in 1979,” said Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, who chairs the Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, at a hearing on DeVos’ proposed 2020 budget.

“Madam Secretary, I have to say, and maybe it’s offensive: Shame on you,” DeLauro said.

Overall, DeVos proposed a 12% decrease in funding for her department for fiscal year 2020.

Lawmakers have rejected the Trump administration’s previous efforts, increasing the Education Department budget instead, even when Republicans controlled both the Senate and House.

Even though the secretary’s budget has even less of a chance of being adopted this year, it lays out a set of priorities for the administration – and gives advocacy groups plenty to complain about.

One proposal that has repeatedly gotten attention from lawmakers is DeVos’ suggestion to cut funding from Special Olympic events at schools.

“We had to make some difficult decisions with this budget,” DeVos responded when asked about the proposal by Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat, who said that more than 270,000 children benefit from those programs.

“I think the Special Olympics is an awesome organization, one that is supported by the philanthropic sector as well,” she said.

DeVos has personally supported the group. After proposing to cut the funding in her first budget, she announced that she would donate part of her salary to the organization. A spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that the secretary made the donation last year and added that DeVos is “personally supportive of Special Olympics and its mission.”

Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for the department, said in a statement on Wednesday: “The Special Olympics raises more than $100 million philanthropically every year, and while the Secretary is very personally supportive of their mission and work, the activities of Special Olympics are better supported with other state, local and private funds.”

The proposed budget maintains the same level of funding for core special education programs, including grants to states under the department’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

The secretary was also criticized at Tuesday’s hearing for eliminating money for the 21st Century Community Learning Center, which supports after-school and summer programs for students, particularly those who come from low-income families or attend low-performing schools.

“This year, I’m puzzled. You’re trying to cut it again, completely ignoring the strong evidence that parents support this program and in fact want more of it,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat who’s the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee.

Republican ranking member Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma commended DeVos for several aspects of her budget, including support for charter schools and for science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) programs, as well as expanding the Pell Grant program to students enrolled in short-term certificate programs.

But he called some of the proposed reductions “shortsighted,” including those to the federal TRIO programs, which provide support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The secretary’s budget requests new funds for K-12 school choice tax credits, called Education Freedom Scholarships. They could be used for both private and public schools. The agency is asking the Treasury Department for $5 billion a year for the new program.

CNN’s Lauren Fox and Ellie Kaufman contributed to this report.