Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, charged Saturday that President Reagan "substantially diminished" national security by vetoing the fiscal 1989 defense authorization bill and accused him of putting presidential politics ahead of America's welfare.
Glenn - the first American to orbit the planet, a combat flier in World War II and Korea, and a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee - said Reagan played "fast and loose with our national security.""I am extremely disappointed that he chose to leave America without defense spending priorities for the next fiscal year," Glenn said in the Democratic response to Reagan's weekly radio address to the nation.
The president has said he vetoed the bill because it would not sustain his military buildup and would hobble progress on the "Star Wars" space missile defense system.
But Glenn, who led a failed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, said the bill "closely reflected the priorities (Reagan) established in the defense budget."
"The close hard fact is that the bill admirably addressed these priorities," Glenn said.
"Moreover, it conformed to the budget summit agreement, which had been worked out between the administration and Congress," he said.