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Guard Caucus Out to Strengthen Guard: Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation last week that would give the National Guard a larger presence within the Pentagon and enhance its ability to respond to its domestic responsibilities and deploy abroad. The two are co-chairs of the National Guard Caucus, and the bill—the National Defense Enhancement and National Guard Empowerment Act—would elevate the commander of the National Guard to a four-star position on the Joint Staff, as well as give the National Guard Bureau more authority to research, validate, and procure equipment essential to its mission. Leahy said that Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) and Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) would introduce identical legislation in the house.