MATTHEW: Congressman, what's the role of Congress in war and peace?What you miss, in this transcript, is the smug, grinning face of Cantor as he deigns to explain this most simple of legal facts to Chris Matthews. Crooks and Liars has the vid--no one's posted it yet on YouTube.
ISRAEL (D): Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, authorizes war; and the War Powers Act requires Congress to vote on whether we should insert troops into hostile situations. The law is clear. And we're not going to spend time--
CANTOR (R): --Absolutely not!
ISRAEL (D): Come on, Eric--
CANTOR (R): Absolutely not, it's the Commander in Chief. The Constitution--
CANTOR (R): The Constitution gives the Commander in Chief--
MATTHEWS: Congressman Cantor, why did the President ask for approval of Congress before he went into Iraq.
CANTOR (R): Well I certainly think that his counsel gave him guidance as to why he needed to do that. But at the end of the day the Constitution gives the Commander in Chief the right to send our troops into battle.
For the record, here's Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution (the section on the scope of legislative power):
"The Congress shall have power ... To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;"