Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday defended her request to cut billions of dollars from the agency’s budget, as Democrats attacked her plan as outrageous and damaging to students who need the most help.

Democrats were also cold to DeVos’s plan to use the federal tax code to support private school scholarships, suggesting that the secretary’s priorities will face another tough year in Congress.

“I believe this budget is cruel, and I believe it is reckless,” said Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.), who chairs the education subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and presided over the hearing on Tuesday. “I really am left with a very serious question for you: How can you support this budget? I mean that genuinely.”

Lawmakers cited a variety of

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