US Soccer hires lobbying firms in equal pay fight: report

US Soccer hires lobbying firms in equal pay fight: report
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The U.S. Soccer Federation has hired two lobbying firms as it faces pressure to ensure the women's and men's teams receive comparable pay, according to a report.

The federation hired FBB Federal Relations and Van Ness Feldman, Politico reported Wednesday. Neither firm has officially registered to lobby for the federation yet, a disclosure that is required within 45 days of being hired.

The debate over a pay gap in soccer has gained attention after the U.S. women’s national team won the FIFA Women's World Cup in July. The players filed a lawsuit about their previous contract, which they said paid them as little as 38 percent of what the players on the U.S. men’s national team made.

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Lawmakers, including Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinGiffords, Demand Justice to pressure GOP senators to reject Trump judicial pick Senate confirms Trump pick labeled 'not qualified' by American Bar Association Feinstein endorses Christy Smith for Katie Hill's former House seat MORE (D-Calif.), have introduced multiple bills to ensure equal pay for both teams, but the federation is pushing back on those claims.

“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,” Neil Buethe, a U.S. Soccer spokesman, wrote in an email to Politico. 

Lobbyists circulated a presentation, according to the report, that said the women’s team made $275,478 in average cash compensation per player, compared to $57,283 for the men.

FBB Federal Relations, Van Ness Feldman and the U.S. Soccer Federation have not responded to request from The Hill for comment.