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Guard Cuts Spark Congressional Challenge: A bipartisan group of Senators has launched an effort to foil the Pentagon’s plan to cut National Guard forces. Leading the Capitol Hill crowd are Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Government Executive reports that they are asking fellow lawmakers to sign a letter to be sent to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, arguing that cuts to the Guard would not be cost-effective. The Adjutants General Association of the United States have already gone on record against the proposed cuts, expected to surface formally when the Administration releases the 2007 defense budget in early February.