Is it something in the water?

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During a Senate Appropriations Committee markup, Leahy regaled the audience with a tale from his early days on the committee.

He said the a chairman always had his water brought in separately by an aide. One day, Leahy found himself choking.

"I took a sip out of his glass," Leahy recalled. "It wasn't water."

Leahy joked that the current chairwoman, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), probably doesn't drink vodka on the job, even though she is proud of her Polish roots.

"In Polish, the word for water is 'woda' and the word for vodka is 'wodka,'" Mikulski said. "Only one 'k' separates them ... that's why I drink mine out of a clear bottle to preserve my reputation."