President Trump may be backpedaling, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had no hesitation Sunday night in inviting the U.S. women’s national soccer team to the Capitol after its victory in the World Cup.
Pelosi cited the team’s “strength, unity & patriotism” in issuing the invitation along with Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) and Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), who chimed in with an idea for some statuary at the Capitol.
On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) extended his own invitation for the team to “come to the upper chamber for a celebration of their victory as they visit our nation’s capital.”
Speaking from the floor of the Senate, Schumer hailed the team’s “sustained level of excellence" as “something for us all to just exult in” and he referred to its gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation.
“They make us grapple with the deep unfairness in how female athletes are treated, and paid, compared to their male counterparts,” Schumer said. " … So, I think that when it comes to the U.S. women, it’s absolutely right to be talking about fair pay right now. They have shone a light on the fact that, in our society, women are simply not treated fairly because of their gender.”
Captain Megan Rapinoe, who made headlines for saying she was not interested in a visit to the White House, said Monday she would be “very happy to accept” Schumer’s invitation.
Trump invited the team to the White House last month, regardless of the outcome of the Women’s World Cup, which the Americans won Sunday with a 2-0 victory over the Dutch.
But Sunday, the president told Voice of America: “We haven’t really thought about it. We’ll look at that."
In a video recorded before the World Cup, Rapinoe said, 'I’m not going to the f------ White House.” Teammate Ali Krieger backed Rapinoe, saying she wouldn’t go, either.
U.S. Coach Jill Ellis was asked whether she would go to the White House after Sunday’s win.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I haven’t been invited, so I can’t really say.”
Told that an invitation was likely to be forthcoming, Ellis said, “Well, I wouldn’t bet on that.”
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