CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WHSV) — Just days after West Virginia's male senator, Democrat Joe Manchin, made headlines for proposing a bill to give the U.S. Women's National Soccer team equal pay after their second World Cup win, the state's female senator is joining others to invite them to the Capitol.
The United States won its record fourth Women's World Cup title and second in a row, beating the Netherlands 2-0 when Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick in the second half and Rose Lavelle added a goal
The team won the World Cup for the second consecutive and fourth time overall on Sunday.
While team co-captain Megan Rapinoe previously said she's not interested in celebrating at the White House, she and the team did accept an invitation for the team to visit Congress.
Trump had tweeted that he would invite the team, win or lose, but no invitation has been extended yet.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday he looks forward to scheduling a time when "these inspiring women can come to the nation's capital."
Rapinoe said Tuesday on CNN that she had accepted invitations from New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi and Schumer to go to Washington, but it's not just Democrats extending the champions invitations.
Senator Capito signed on to a letter from all 25 current female U.S. senators inviting Coach Jill Ellis and the team to "meet with the women of the Senate to discuss the challenges women face on and off the field" while visiting the Capitol to celebrate their win.
"We believe on a bipartisan basis that your model of unity, diversity, and passion should be something that is consistently celebrated and emulated,” the senators wrote. “In honor of your accomplishments, in recognition of your victory, and in acknowledgement of the work still before us, the bipartisan women of the Senate look forward to seeing you during your visit to the Capitol, and we would like to invite you to meet with the women of the Senate to discuss the challenges women face on and off the field.”
Twenty-eight members of the women's team have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. More than 50 members of Congress wrote to U.S. Soccer last week demanding to know why the women are paid less than the men, despite their much greater success.
The federation will give the women bonuses about five times smaller than what the men would have earned for winning the World Cup. The case is currently in mediation.
Manchin, Capito's fellow West Virginia senator, introduced a bill Tuesday that would bar federal funding for the men's 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer Federation provides equal pay to the women's and men's teams.
A copy of the letter from all the female senators can be found below:
Dear Coach Ellis:
Congratulations to you and your team for winning yet another World Cup Title for the United States this week at the 2019 World Cup Finals in France. Your impressive and dominating run through this year’s tournament is further testament to an already historic U.S. Women’s National Team program that has now recorded a record four World Cup trophies and back-to-back championships. The entire country takes pride in all that you have accomplished.
Your inspiring performance on and off the field serves as an example to Americans everywhere about the value of focus, conviction, hard work, and determination in our everyday lives. Millions of girls and boys throughout this country continue to look up to you as athletes, as icons, and as a stirring example of what is possible when a team of remarkable, resilient, and confident American women set out to accomplish a goal.
We believe on a bipartisan basis that your model of unity, diversity, and passion should be something that is consistently celebrated and emulated.
In honor of your accomplishments, in recognition of your victory, and in acknowledgement of the work still before us, the bipartisan women of the Senate look forward to seeing you during your visit to the Capitol, and we would like to invite you to meet with the women of the Senate to discuss the challenges women face on and off the field. We would be pleased to work with your staff on the most appropriate venue for this celebration and important discussion.