WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) today introduced the Equal Pay for Team USA Act, a bipartisan plan to ensure equal pay for Americans who represent our country in global athletic competitions, like the World Cup or the Olympics. Currently, men and women can be paid differently for representing Team USA in the same sport.
“The skill and success of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team at this year’s World Cup evoked a tremendous sense of pride and excitement in our country, but their performance also served as a reminder that women representing our country in global athletic competitions do not receive the kind of pay or benefits their male counterparts do,” said Senator Capito, a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “While this is currently a very visible and talked about issue, it’s not a new one; and it’s time that we made sure all athletes representing our country on the global stage are equally compensated. As a woman, a sports fan, and the mother of a female athlete, I’m proud to join with Senator Cantwell on this bipartisan legislation.”
“When American athletes represent our country on the worldwide stage, they deserve to be compensated equally – because a win is a win, and a gold medal is a gold medal, no matter your gender,” Senator Cantwell said. “Our U.S. Women’s National team has done so much to raise this issue, but it impacts top athletes in every sport. It’s time for us to work together to right this wrong and get this done.”
The Equal Pay for Team USA Act, pursuant to the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction over the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), would require that all athletes representing the United States in global athletic competitions receive equal compensation and benefits for their work, regardless of gender. Senators Capito and Cantwell’s legislation would also require equal payment for medical care, travel, and expenses.
The bill applies to 50 different national sports governing bodies, and it requires the USOC to conduct oversight to make sure they all come into compliance with the legislation.
The full text is available here.
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