Dec 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

House passes equal pay bill for Team USA athletes

Becky Sauerbrunn #4 of the United States and US Soccer Federation president Cindy Parlow Cone sign the collective bargaining agreement.

Becky Sauerbrunn of the United States and U.S. Soccer Federation president Cindy Parlow Cone sign the collective bargaining agreement after a game at Audi Field on Sept. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Brad Smith/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The House this week passed a bipartisan bill that requires equal compensation for U.S. women competing in international sports competitions.

Why it matters: It's a landmark victory for women athletes, covering more than 50 national sports and requires the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to handle oversight of the law.

Driving the news: The bill, called the Equal Pay for Team USA, passed the Senate unanimously earlier this month and now heads to President Biden's desk.

  • The bill requires that all athletes representing the U.S. in international competitions receive equal pay and benefits, including medical care, travel and expenses.

The big picture: The U.S. women's national soccer team earlier this year signed a collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Soccer, ensuring equal pay through identical economic terms through 2028.

  • The Equal Pay for Team USA act was introduced in 2019 — after the U.S. women's national soccer team sued for equal pay.

What they're saying: "The Equal Pay for Team USA Act erases any ambiguity, setting the standard that — when it comes to pay, medical care, travel arrangements and reimbursement of expenses for players of the same sport — nothing short of equal is acceptable, regardless of gender," Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said after the House passage of the bill.

  • "By sending this legislation to the President, both houses have sent a clear message that this is the standard for all national teams in all sports and it underscores the importance of working with our athletes to achieve equal pay including equalizing international prize money," Cindy Parlow Cone, president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, said in a statement.

Go deeper... Player empowerment is key to the future of U.S. women's pro soccer

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