July 30, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 129 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 129
(Senate - July 30, 2019)
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[Pages S5200-S5201] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS ______ SENATE RESOLUTION 291--EXPRESSING THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT THE FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION SHOULD IMMEDIATELY ELIMINATE GENDER PAY INEQUITY AND TREAT ALL ATHLETES WITH THE SAME RESPECT AND DIGNITY Mr. LEAHY (for himself, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Brown, Ms. Cantwell, Mr. Carper, Ms. Cortez Masto, Ms. Duckworth, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Feinstein, Mrs. Gillibrand, Ms. Harris, Ms. Hassan, Ms. Hirono, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Markey, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. Murray, Mr. Reed, Mr. Sanders, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Tester, Mr. Van Hollen, and Mr. Whitehouse) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions: S. Res. 291 Whereas the Federation Internationale de Football Association (referred to in this preamble as ``FIFA'') awarded $400,000,000 to the 32 teams that competed in the 2018 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $30,000,000 to the 24 teams that competed in the 2019 Women's World Cup; Whereas FIFA awarded $38,000,000 to the team that won the 2018 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $4,000,000 to the team that won the 2019 Women's World Cup; Whereas FIFA awarded $4,000,000 more in prizes to each team that lost in the first round of the 2018 Men's World Cup than to the team that won the 2019 Women's World Cup; Whereas FIFA awarded $358,000,000 to the 32 teams that competed in the 2014 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $15,000,000 to the 24 teams that competed in the 2015 Women's World Cup; and Whereas FIFA awarded $35,000,000 to the team that won the 2014 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $2,000,000 to the team that won the 2015 Women's World Cup; Whereas FIFA awarded $348,000,000 to the 32 teams that competed in the 2010 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $10,000,000 to the 16 teams that competed in the 2011 Women's World Cup; Whereas FIFA awarded $30,000,000 to the team that won the 2010 Men's World Cup, but only awarded $1,000,000 to the team that won the 2011 Women's World Cup; Whereas the 2019 Women's World Cup tournament garnered an estimated 1,000,000,000 viewers worldwide; Whereas the 2019 Women's World Cup highlighted the need to eliminate the existing gender pay disparity in prize award structure in athletic competitions that has persisted for decades; Whereas the unfair and unjust prize award allocation system used by FIFA sends a terrible message to women and girls around the world about the value of their contribution to sports; Whereas, in 2007, Wimbledon finally implemented an equal prize payment structure for all athletes, regardless of gender; and Whereas gender should not determine the amount of a prize award that a person or team receives in an athletic competition: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate-- (1) urges the Federation Internationale de Football Association to immediately eliminate gender pay inequity and to treat all athletes with the respect and dignity those athletes deserve; (2) supports an end to the unfair and unjust practice of gender pay inequity in the workplace, including athletic competitions and related prize awards; (3) urges all other local, State, Federal, and international organizations to eliminate gender pay inequity; and (4) instructs the Secretary of the Senate to submit a copy of this resolution to the President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association. Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, earlier this month, fans across the country--and around the world--watched as the U.S. Women's National Team made history, winning its second consecutive World Cup title, and fourth title overall. The players, coaches, and support staff of the Women's National Team are role models to athletes young and old, male and female. They played through the tournament with the tenacity, skill, and commitment that is the hallmark of any champion. These women--world class athletes--have consistently demonstrated their dedication to excelling in the sport and to representing our nation on the world stage. Their success on the soccer field is remarkable in itself, but many of these women have used their voices to speak out and speak up against a glaring disparity that disadvantages them, and countless women across our country and around the world: equal pay. This is not a new issue, and it's shameful that it is one that has not been rectified. What the players of the U.S. women's soccer team want is pretty simple: to be treated no different than their counterparts on the men's team. Earlier this year, the players filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation, arguing that disparities in pay between the men's and women's teams constitute discrimination on the basis of gender. But even if this lawsuit improves U.S. Soccer pay practices, much of the pay disparity will remain, due to policies of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). For example, FIFA awarded $38 million to the winner of the 2018 Men's World Cup, but will award only $4 million to the U.S. women's team for their win this year. Men's teams also earn more from FIFA for losing a World Cup qualifying game than women's teams earn for winning all of them and becoming world champions. Today I am reintroducing a resolution that I first introduced in 2015, after the U.S. Women's National Team won its third World Cup. This is a simple, straightforward, and commonsense resolution. I am calling on FIFA to immediately eliminate gender pay inequity and treat all athletes with the same respect and dignity, regardless of gender. Yet in 2015, Senate Republicans [[Page S5201]] inexplicably objected to its adoption. I'm still waiting for an explanation as to why. I'm proud that this resolution is cosponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Mazie Hirano (D-Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.). Equal pay for equal work should not be a political football. All women, including the women of the U.S. National Team, deserve to be paid for the job they do, not based on their gender. Equal pay should not still be up for debate in 2019. When time expired on the game clock during the World Cup championship game, chants of ``Equal Pay!'' echoed throughout the stadium in France. I am proud to join in that chorus today. ____________________