On Jan. 5, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower expresses fear that the Mideast may fall under Soviet control. He asks Congress to back a military and an economic program. He wants authority to use military force if any Mideast nation seeks help defending against aggression. Two months later, Congress passes a resolution. It says the country is “prepared” to use force in the region if the president deems it necessary. Senate Democrats, however, reject the notion of giving the president “authorization” to use force, arguing that the Constitution vests such power in him. Eisenhower signs the resolution into law March 9, 1957.