Lauding the “extraordinary” U.S. women’s national soccer team for its “excellence” and “heart,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) extended an invitation on Monday to the World Cup champions to visit the U.S. Senate — saying “it would be my honor to host America’s winning team.”
Speaking from the Senate floor, Schumer also urged his GOP counterpart, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and his other colleagues to pass equal pay legislation in honor of the victorious team.
“They make us grapple with the deep unfairness in how female athletes are treated, and paid, compared to their male counterparts,” Schumer said in an apparent nod to the gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. women’s soccer team earlier this year. “Similarly. it’s an unfortunate reality that women in the workforce see their male colleagues paid significantly more for the same work.”
Schumer said the U.S. women’s team, which bested the Netherlands for the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Sunday, had “shone a light on the fact that in our society women are simply not treated fairly because of their gender.”
“Something needs to change here. What the U.S. women did was extraordinary, and they deserve to be compensated fairly. All women need to be compensated fairly, period,” the senator continued, before asking McConnell to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, approved earlier this year by the Democrat-led House, on the Senate floor.
“How about the equal pay amendment that the House has passed? Why don’t we put it on the floor of the Senate in honor of the women who won the World Cup? Why don’t we do that, Leader McConnell?” Schumer said.
As CNBC noted, however, McConnell ― who also congratulated the women’s team on its win and praised the players for their “grit and teamwork and talent” ― is unlikely to support the equal pay legislation, which he’s previously condemned as “just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help.”
The GOP has voted at least four times to block the Paycheck Fairness Act from consideration since 2012, CNBC reported.