Senator Murray: “I continue to be inspired by the Women’s National Team for demanding equal pay for equal work and proving to the country that change is possible when you stand up for what’s right.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) equal pay settlement agreement, which will provide millions in back pay for the players and includes a commitment from U.S. Soccer to ensure equal pay for the women’s and men’s national teams moving forward.
“I am so glad to see that because of their tireless and courageous advocacy—for soccer players and for women across the country—the U.S. Women’s National Team are one step closer to getting the equal pay they deserve, but have too long been denied. I continue to be inspired by the Women’s National Team for demanding equal pay for equal work and proving to the country that change is possible when you stand up for what’s right.
“Now, it’s time for Republicans in Congress to stand up for what’s right, too, and stop blocking the Paycheck Fairness Act—which every single Congressional Democrat supports—to help close the wage gap and ensure equal pay for all.”
Senator Murray has led efforts in Congress to close the wage gap and ensure all women—including female athletes—are paid fairly for their work. Senator Murray has specifically pushed the U.S. Soccer Federation to provide equal pay to its athletes, calling for reform in June 2016 after members of the USWNT filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and again in March 2019 when the U.S. Soccer Federation had still failed to act. In July 2019, after the U.S. Women’s National Team won their Fourth World Cup Championship—and still had not received equal pay—Senator Murray introduced the Athletics Fair Pay Act to help close the gender pay gap in Olympic and amateur sports.
In January 2021, Senator Murray also reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help end the wage gap by closing loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue, and protect workers from retaliation for discussing their pay. In June 2021, Senator Murray brought the legislation—which is co-sponsored by every Democrat in Congress—up for a vote, but Senate Republicans blocked a motion to even debate it.