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GOP rep who supports lowering voting age: 'It's on us' if 16-year-olds vote Democratic

A House Republican who supports lowering the voting age to 16 said it falls on the GOP if the newly enfranchised voters did not support Republicans.

“If what we are afraid of is they’ll vote Democratic, then that’s on us,” Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessRace heats up for top GOP post on powerful Energy and Commerce Committee Hillicon Valley: House votes to condemn QAnon | Americans worried about foreign election interference | DHS confirms request to tap protester phones House approves measure condemning QAnon, but 17 Republicans vote against it MORE (R-Texas) told Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on Tuesday. “We need to talk to people. We have better ideas. We’re the party of emancipation.”

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Earlier this month, Congress voted down an amendment lowering the voting age to 16 that Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Ocasio-Cortez hits Trump for 'disrespect' over calling her AOC during debates Democrats unveil bill to reduce police violence against people with mental illness MORE (D-Mass.) was pushing to add to a larger voting rights bill. House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOn The Money: Trump says stimulus deal will happen after election | Holiday spending estimates lowest in four years | Domestic workers saw jobs, hours plummet due to COVID Hoyer lays out ambitious Democratic agenda for 2021, with health care at top CNN won't run pro-Trump ad warning Biden will raise taxes on middle class MORE (D-Calif.) said the following week she supported efforts to reduce the age.

“My first thought was ‘Oh no, that’s not a good idea,’ but as I thought about it, you think about things through the lens of your own experience,” said Burgess, the only Republican to vote for the amendment, citing the fact that as a 16-year-old he already participated in society in various ways, including working and paying payroll taxes.

Burgess also noted “this generation of adolescents is going to inherit more debt than any other generation,” as well as structural debt and student loan debt.

Carlson pushed back, arguing 16-year-old voters would support policies that incur further debt. 

“What are we afraid of? Sixteen-year-olds are going to be 18-year-olds in the next election cycle,” Burgess said. “They’re not going to be in charge of the government any more than 18-year-olds are.”