Senators Seek to Block Soccer Funding Unless Women Get Equal Pay

Federal funds related to the 2026 World Cup would be blocked unless equal pay is given to the women’s U.S. soccer team under legislation introduced by Democratic Senators Joe Manchin and Maria Cantwell.

The bill, named the GOALS Act, would require the U.S. Soccer Federation to agree to provide equitable pay to both the men’s and women’s national teams before any federal funds may be used for activities related to the 2026 World Cup.

While federal funds are not directly appropriated toward U.S. soccer, there are a variety of ways that federal funding will likely be used during the World Cup, which will be hosted in part by the U.S, the lawmakers said.

“A gold medal is a gold medal and a World Cup is a World Cup, no matter your gender,” Senator Cantwell said in a statement.

The bill comes one day after Senate Republicans blocked legislation that aimed to close pay gaps for women by tackling loopholes in federal wage equity law.

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