CACR 20 To Have NH Secede From U.S. Heard By House Committee

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Rep. Jason Gerhard R-Northfield, testifies on his proposed constitutional amendment to have New Hampshire secede from the United States when the national debt reaches $40 trillion.


CONCORD — While there was nearly unanimous support for a proposed constitutional amendment for New Hampshire to secede from the United States at a committee meeting Friday, a similar 2021 proposal garnered only 13 House members’ support.

At a public hearing on CACR 20 before the House State and Federal Relations Committee Friday, supporters said inflation, the national debt, undeclared wars, a broken federal government, and government violations of their individual rights are reasons to seek independence from the union.

Under the bill, when the national debt reaches $40 trillion, New Hampshire should declare independence from the United States and become a sovereign nation. The national debt is now about $34 trillion.

The sponsor of the proposed constitutional amendment, Rep. Jason Gerhard, R-Northfield-Franklin, said the national government is taking the country on a course that will lead to financial ruin.

“The national debt is the greatest national security risk we face,” Gerhard said, and he is trying to prevent “New Hampshire from falling into a catastrophe like the world has never seen before.”

The committee chair Rep. Michael Moffett, R-Loudon, noted the lopsided vote several years ago on secession and asked Gerhard if he did not say the pledge of allegiance to the flag at the beginning of the committee meeting.

“I only serve one master and that one master is not government,” Gerhard said. “I work for the creator and not the creation.”
Gerhard, who spent 12-and-a-half years in federal prison, for his role in the armed standoff of Edward and Elaine Brown in Plainfield, after they were convicted of tax evasion, was also asked about the 4,000 New Hampshire residents who died fighting in the Civil War. He said the country is not what it was.

“The liberties and those things they died for are not upheld today including our borders,” Gerhard said. “We do not have the liberties we supposedly do on paper. . . Now the government tramples on every single one of our rights.”

He noted that New Hampshire is not alone as Texas will also be voting on secession.

“We need to separate ourselves from the extortion racket that is the IRS,” Gerhard said. “It is not just New Hampshire where New Hampshire supports itself on maple syrup sales, this is a movement from across the country.”

Rep. Michael Granger, R-Rochester, said while he agrees with many of the principles, secession is a bad idea as the state is greatly outnumbered by the rest of the country and would lose a war if one were declared.

He said the dollar is at the point when it is about to lose its reserve currency status which will upend the financial system, but he supports using the gold standard as in the past.

Others also talked about the problems with the dollar as the world’s standard and the growing debt that some claimed could never be repaid.

“We are in debt we can never recover from,” said Rep. Glenn Bailey, R-Milton, “We are asking to get out of debt peacefully.”
He used Great Britain’s peaceful exit from the European Union as an example of what a declaration of independence would look like for the state.

Several people testifying told of personal problems they experienced with the federal government as reasons for leaving the union.

Pam Ean of Concord said the country is like a frog in lukewarm water that is being heated up and eventually will kill it.

“I strongly support this, this is something that needs to be done” Ean told the committee. “This needs to be on the table to let the federal government know it has gone too far and overstepped its (bounds).”

Ean was a public school teacher who said she was forced to pay agency fees because she refused to join the union, but fought it on religious grounds and won. She had to donate the $400 to charity she would have paid the union, but was told by her union the charity she selected was a religious organization and that was unconstitutional although it was not.

“Give voters the right to decide this bill,” Ean said. “It is not about Trump or Biden, this is not a Republican versus a Democratic thing.”

 Carla Gericke, the chair of the Free State Project, said the federal government has failed its citizens and no longer follows the Constitution.

“We are being abused by the federal government and what do we advise people if they are abused? We say leave your abuser,” Gericke said. “People support a national divorce. We are not talking about war, we do not support violence.”
She said if New Hampshire chooses independence, it will live free and thrive. “We would be a cool little country and we could make it work,” she said.

Ahmad Esfahani of Alstead, who serves on the Fall Mountain School District’s Budget Committee, said he was neutral on the proposed amendment.

As a member of the committee, he said he sees money being sent to Ukraine and Israel and sees schools losing teachers.

“People in Washington, DC do not care about the people in this country,” Esfahani said. “The problem is in Washington, DC and the organizations that exist there.”
The last time there was a secession, it was by a group of people who were trying to hold onto something that was already gone, he said.

“This time they are trying to hold on to a 20th Century America that does not exist anymore,” he said.

Elliot Axelman of Hooksett said people have not had an opportunity to vote “to stay in this relationship with DC politicians in 250 years.”

Think of it as a marriage, he said, which now has unilateral divorce where only one of the two has to decide to leave, not both.

“If we want to do that, DC cannot stop us from doing it,” Axelman said.

A proposed constitutional amendment requires a three-fifths majority of both the House and Senate, and a two-thirds majority of voters in the next general election to change the state constitution.

The committee is scheduled to hold an executive session on the bill Jan. 19 to decide its recommendation on the proposed amendment.

Garry Rayno has 40 years experience as a reporter in New Hampshire. He may be reached at

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