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Bill de Blasio says he'd use executive action for equal pay for national teams

2020 Democratic contender and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN Wednesday that, as president, he would use executive action to guarantee equal pay for national sports teams if Congress refused to act.

Why it matters: Following the U.S. women's national soccer team's fourth World Cup victory, equal pay for national teams has become a hot-button issue — and it's filtering down to the 2020 presidential race.

"If I were President of the United States, I would insist Congress pass an amendment to the Amateur Sports Act requiring equal pay for men and women in all of our national sports teams. And if they didn't do it, I'd use an executive order to have the Treasury Department enforce on the U.S. Soccer Federation, 'cause they're tax-exempt, and they're discriminating in effect against women in pay."

The state of play: De Blasio's statement comes one day after Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin introduced a bill to deny funding for the 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer Federation guarantees equal pay for the men's and women's teams.

The backdrop: According to the Washington Post, the revenue gap between the men's and women's soccer teams has vanished in recent years.

  • "The women’s team contributed close or more than half of the federation’s revenue from games since fiscal 2016."
  • "From fiscal 2016 to 2018, the women’s games generated about $900,000 more revenue than the men’s games. In the year following the 2015 World Cup win, women’s games generated $1.9 million more than the men’s games."

Go deeper: The future of women's soccer after another World Cup win for the U.S.