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The Fight Is Not Over: Defense authorizers are poised to toss out the effort to elevate the stature of the chief of the National Guard Bureau and to weaken state control, leaving the Senate’s National Guard Caucus and other Guard advocates incensed. Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), co-chairs of the caucus, spoke to reporters Tuesday, decrying the “likely” actions by Senate and House conferees working on the 2007 defense authorization bill. Leahy called the actions a “one-two punch against Guard empowerment that runs counter to the Guard’s needs and the Guard’s crucial missions.” Bond asserted, “The Guard has earned a promotion and the enhanced authority necessary to be in the huddle of the Pentagon’s senior defense team.” Will they be heard?