What have members of Congress said about lowering the voting age?

“I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16. I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school when they’re interested in all of this when they’re learning about the government to be able to vote. That — that is not necessary — you know, in other words, some of the priorities in this bill are about transparency and openness and accessibility and the rest, that’s a subject of debate. But my view is that I would welcome that.” – Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“There is a growing sense of vigilance and civic engagement among our nation’s youth. From McAllen, Texas to Washington, D.C., our nation’s young people are holding the federal government to the highest standards and demanding that public servants at every level of government honor the promises they made to uphold the Constitution and serve their fellow Americans. If these young adults are allowed to enter the workforce and support our nation’s economy as taxpayers, then I believe it is my duty as a Member of Congress to not only elevate their voice, but to give them the most fundamental tool in our democracy – the right to vote and that is why I supported this measure in the House.” – Rep. Vincente Gonzalez, TX

“At 16 years old, young people can work, pay taxes and contribute to the economy. It is beyond appropriate that we extend an opportunity for young people to play a role in electing our Representatives both in the halls of Congress and the White House. […] My amendment to H.R. 1, the For The People Act, will strengthen the promise of our nation’s democracy. I am proud to propose an amendment that will lower the mandatory minimum voting age from 18-years-old to 16-years-old for federal elections, giving young people the power to elect members of Congress and the President of the United States. In the Massachusetts 7th, young activists remind us daily what is at stake, and just how high those stakes are. Our young people are at the forefront of some of the most existential crises facing our communities and our society at large. I believe that those who will inherit the nation we design here in Congress by virtue of our policies and authority should have a say in who represents them.” – Rep. Ayanna Pressley, MA

“Decisions we make in Congress today are going to affect the young people of this country for decades. They deserve a say in our democracy & that’s what this amendment does.” – Rep. Jim McGovern, MA

“Young people today are able to offer valuable insight on some of the most pressing issues facing our country. […] And finally, the research shows that young voters who participate early are more likely to remain engaged throughout their lives — if someone is able to vote while they’re still at home with parents who also vote, as opposed to trying to fit it in when they’re also starting a job or beginning college, they’re more likely to participate, and to remain active.” – Rep. David Cicilline, RI

“At a time when our government has failed to confront everything from climate change to gun violence to student loan debt to immigration reform to civil rights, we should be empowering the voices of the generation that will bear the brunt of our inaction, not trying to silence them or dismiss their cries for change.” – Rep. Joe Kennedy III, MA

“Those who pay taxes should have a voice in our democracy. As a teen, I worked & paid taxes. This week I voted for an amendment that would give young adults the right to vote – it failed by a wide margin. I support policies that encourage work & this could be part of the conversation.” – Rep. Michael Burgess, TX

“Some American cities already allow young people to vote in municipal elections, as do several nations, including Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom.  Additionally, research shows that when young people can vote it boosts civic participation for those individuals and their families. I believe our democracy is stronger when we empower as many Americans as possible to make their voices heard.” – Rep. Alan Lowenthal, CA

I am a firm believer that we should empower our young people and that includes extending the right to vote for 16- and 17-year-olds. Voting is a serious responsibly. But I believe that our youth are mature enough at these ages to responsibly cast a ballot. Over the past year, we have seen a huge wave of inspirational and passionate activism by students from all across the country. Students are demanding change on issues such as gun safety, climate change, and health care. They deserve to have their voices heard at the ballot box, and to have a say in the change for which they’re vigorously advocating. It’s clear to me that they should be allowed to vote.” – Rep.  Grace Meng, NY