The U.S. Soccer Federation has hired two lobbying firms to push back against claims of a pay gap between its women's and men's teams, reports Politico.
The move comes after two senators—Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.)—introduced a bill that would require Olympic and amateur athletes to be paid equally. According to Politico, the Federation brought on the firms FBB Federal Relations and Van Ness Feldman to convince lawmakers the claims are inaccurate in response to the legislation. The two firms have been circling a presentation that states the women made more money than the men last year.
"Due to the large number of requests we’ve received from policymakers since the Women’s World Cup, we are taking the proper steps to make sure that those leaders have accurate information and factual numbers that will inform them about the unmatched support and investment the U.S. Soccer Federation has provided as a leader in women’s football across the world," a U.S. Soccer spokesman wrote in an email to Politico.
Representatives from the men's and women's teams both gave statements to Politico, expressing disappointment.
The USWNT won its fourth Women's World Cup in July.