Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer today during remarks on the Senate floor, invited the United States Women’s National Soccer Team to the United States Senate to celebrate their historic and inspiring victory in the 2019 Women's World Cup. Leader Schumer also called on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to bring legislation to ensure all women earn equal pay up for a vote in the United States Senate. Below are his remarks, which can also be found here.
Now, Madam President, first let me congratulate the United States women’s national team on winning the World Cup yesterday, it’s the second title in a row and fourth overall—the most for any nation. Boy do they make us proud.
The team’s sustained level of excellence is something for us all to just exalt in, to be so proud of, as are the heart, the skill, and the sheer joy the US women bring to the pitch. As they make their way home, I send them my congratulations, my thanks, and a formal invitation for the team to come to the upper chamber for a celebration of their victory as they visit our nation’s capital. It would be my honor to host America’s winning team.
I want to send a special congratulations to the two New Yorkers on the team, Allie Long and Crystal Dunn, the latter of whom made a crucial tackle in the final, leading to our second and decisive goal in the final period. New York is proud of them both, as well as the entire roster.
And while today we celebrate their victory, we also recognize that these women, these athletes have challenges and they make us really think about the future of women’s sports. They make us grapple with the deep unfairness in how female athletes are treated, and paid, compared to their male counterparts.
Similarly, it is an unfortunate reality that women in the workforce see their male colleagues paid significantly more for the same work. Now, we have come a long way in terms of the prominence of, and support for, women’s sports over the past decade.
But we have not come nearly far enough. Every young girl who has had to play on weeknights instead of weekends because that’s when the boys play; who had to accept older equipment because the boys got the new stuff; who had to play on the other field or rink or court because the boys were using the main one, every girl who went through that knows this to be true. And as the parent of two girls who played soccer, and basketball, and baseball, and lacrosse, I know this to be true.
So, I think that when it comes to the U.S. women, it’s absolutely right to be talking about fair pay right now. They have shone a light on the fact that in our society, women are simply not treated fairly because of their gender.
Something—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. And we ought to pay attention to this not just once every four years during the World Cup, but year-in and year-out.
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? I’m sure there’ll be lots of incoming from the other side about these women. How about let’s act so we can help all women achieve equality? Equal work, equal pay.