TESTIMONY – HB229 Defend the Guard

Starts at my testimony, rewind for entire bill hearing.

Thank you mister chair, and members of the committee. My name is Tom Mannion, I’m representing Hillsborough District 1, Pelham. I’m a Marine Corps infantry veteran that enlisted in 2004 to hunt down those responsible for 9/11. However, I didn’t even get the chance to do that. Like all service members, I went where I was told, even though I didn’t completely understand why. You’re going to hear counter arguments today, but take it from an enlisted grunt that has been knocked onto my ass into Iraqi dirt by a VBIED, there’s nothing that can convince me to continue sending our guardsmen into harm’s way without going through the correct process.

My first deployment to Iraq started in August of 2005. One of the guys in my platoon was from New Orleans and learned about Hurricane Katrina over a satellite phone call back home. He was raised by his grandmother, and she was alone during the catastrophe. We gave him our allotted sat phone time to make calls to neighbors and to make sure she got out safely. It wasn’t until years later I found out that the Louisiana National Guard was deployed to Iraq right around the same time we were. The Department of Defense sent active duty Marine Corps infantry battalions to help with Katrina, using warfighters to fulfill the mission objectives of search-and-rescue guardsmen. 

The motto of the National Guard is “Always Ready, Always There,” but the operations supporting unconstitutional wars prevents them from fulfilling this. Florida national guardsmen were training Ukrainian soldiers instead of helping with hurricane disaster relief, fires in Oregon were left to spread because their guard was in Afghanistan. Kentucky guardsmen were in Syria, protecting the interests of oil companies instead of aiding their neighbors back home when tornadoes devastated communities.

This committee was briefed by the Adjutant General just last week, where he said over 300 of our New Hampshire Guardsmen were deployed to the middle east right now. Imagine if we got smashed by a Nor’easter and needed those 300 soldiers here to assist our families and neighbors. They would not be there, instead they are off supporting an unconstitutional, undeclared war.

Another terrible consequence of these unending wars is the mental and emotional toll on our servicemembers. Again, as this committee was briefed last week, New Hampshire is one of the states with the highest suicide rate among veterans. This is a serious problem that we, in this legislature, can combat by passing HB229. Force Congress to do their Constitutional duty, to risk the ire of their constituents by voting for these nonsense wars that do nothing to protect us at home, before committing the lives of our guardsmen. These men and women signed up to defend us, the least we can do is vote OTP to show we are defending them.

I’m happy to answer your questions.

Representative Tom Mannion

Hillsborough 1 – Pelham

Hearing Alert: HB229 – Defend the Guard

I am a co-sponsor on House Bill 229, also known as the “Defend the Guard Act.” This bill will come before the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs committee for a public hearing January 20th.

WHATHB229 Hearing
WHENFriday, January 20, 10:00AM
WHERELegislative Office Building
Concord, NH
Room 206-208
COMMITTEEState-Federal Relations and Veteran’s Affairs

The purpose of this bill is to require Congress to formally declare war before New Hampshire will send its National Guardsmen to a conflict zone. It is simultaneously a life-saving measure, a state’s rights assertion, and a call on our representatives in DC to properly follow the Constitution and use the powers granted to them. More information on the many states filing this type of legislation, and FAQ’s can be found here: https://defendtheguard.us/

If you, or anyone you know, wishes to testify on behalf of this bill, please come out to the hearing, it is open to the public. Online testimony can also be submitted here, using the table above to populate the form. If you need help, reach out to me: tom@mannion4nh.com

Public testimony helps put names, faces, and stories to a bill and communicate to committee members the importance it has to constituents.

Committee Assignments Are Out

I’ll be serving on the State-Federal Relations and Veteran Affairs committee for my first term!

This committee handles a lot of House resolutions, bills pertaining to veterans, and will also hear Rep. John Potuchek’s Defend the Guard legislation that I’m cosponsoring.

I’ll be posting more about the bills I’m sponsoring as the final language is released, to include Defend the Guard, so stay tuned.

Organization Day

The Strong Squad was sworn in alongside the other New Hampshire State Representative-Elects in a ceremony at the State House in Concord. We are officially Representatives of Pelham.

We all voted for Speaker Packard, House Clerk Smith, and the Sergeant of the Guard. In the joint session with the Senate, we elected Secretary of State Scanlan and State Treasurer Mezzapelle.

The looming issue, after these office elections, was to determine the fate of the tie vote in the Rochester Representative race. Minority leader Representative Wilhelm put forth a motion to vote on House Resolution 6, which would require a run-off election, through the holidays, citing precedent. A motion to table was attempted by Representative Ross Berry, but ultimately failed in a roll call vote. The Strong Squad voted alongside most of the Republican party to table. The original motion then ultimately passed by voice vote, leaving the Rochester seat empty until the town holds their run-off election.

A long first day , but we’re excited for the future. Between the three of us, there are over a dozen legislative service requests (LSRs) filed that we are prime or co-sponsoring for the upcoming legislative session.

To the citizens of Pelham: thank you for your trust in us, and your votes. The fight has just started, and we won’t let you down.

Biden Admin Pivots on Marijuana Just In Time For Elections

Since the Roe decision is not moving the needle and the student loan forgiveness idea is doing more damage than helping, the Biden administration had to reach into the grab bag to find something to get voters to check blue at the polls.

For clarity, I support the measures he outlined. I’ve been a long time proponent for legalization of marijuana. That being said, he had pardon power the day he took office in 2021, and waited almost 2 years to consider pardoning Americans in prison for possession (meaning no victim to the “crime”).

Those people rotted in a cell for having a plant, and did so for 22 months longer than necessary because the Democrats are failing in the polls. I believe that if the Dems were doing well, the Biden administration would’ve happily let those people stay in prison. We already know how Kamala feels about it! And I know voters of the granite state see right through this faux mea culpa.

I, alongside the Republican party in New Hampshire, will be making steps to (finally) legalize marijuana in our state. Vote red, straight ticket, November 8th!

State Representative – Hillsborough County District 01 (Pelham)