Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Wednesday reintroduced a bill aimed at closing the gender pay gap in U.S. soccer, but it may face the same fate as another pay equity bill he has long supported that Republicans blocked through a filibuster, a Senate tool he has strongly defended.
The GOALS Act would withhold federal funds from the 2026 World Cup until the U.S. Soccer Federation “provides equitable pay” between the men’s and women’s teams.
But the bill, which is cosponsored by a dozen Senate Democrats, lacks Republican backers and failed to make it out of committee in 2019, when Republicans controlled the Senate.
If it were to make it to the floor, it would come up against the filibuster, a rule requiring most bills to get 60 votes to pass, meaning the Senate’s 50 Democrats have to scrounge up 10 Republican votes.
Manchin expressed anger about both of those filibusters, saying he was “disappointed” about the Paycheck Fairness Act and said blocking the commission was “unconscionable,” but he has nonetheless stuck by his defense of the filibuster.
“I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense bill to ensure a level playing field for everyone,” Manchin said of the GOALS Act, framing it as a followup to the Paycheck Fairness Act, which all 50 Senate Republicans voted to filibuster.
“Anybody who holds the filibuster up as some key element of maintaining democracy has an obligation to be part of the group that produces 10 votes for something meaningful,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) told Forbes after Manchin alleged Democrats have tried to “demonize the filibuster” and “ignore how it has been critical to protecting the rights of Democrats in the past.”
What To Watch For
More Manchin-backed bills could be on the chopping block in the coming months, such as the PRO Act, a bill expanding labor protections that Manchin endorsed in April but which lacks any semblance of GOP support in the Senate.