Pelosi: I've 'Always Been for Lowering the Voting Age to 16'

March 14, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) on Thursday said she has "always been for lowering the voting age to 16."

Pelosi was asked by a reporter at her weekly press briefing whether she believed the issue of lowering the national voting age to 16 years old would gain traction in Congress. The issue came up for debate in the House last week as an amendment to the "For The People Act," which is also called H.R. 1.

Pelosi suggested it was important to get high schoolers involved in civics when they're a captive audience.

"I myself, personally, not speaking for my caucus, I myself have always been for lowering the voting age to 16," Pelosi said.  "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 government."

"Some of the priorities in this bill are about transparency, openness, and accessibility, and the rest," she continued. "[Lowering the voting age] is a subject of debate, and I would welcome it, but I’ve been in that position for a long time."

H.R. 1 passed the House through its Democratic majority, despite opposition from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The amendment to lower the voting age from 18 to 16, however, failed to pass the House in a 126-305 vote last week. Freshman Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D., Mass.) introduced the amendment.