WASHINGTON (AP) — Comedy on Capitol Hill — the intentional kind, anyway — is pretty rare.
But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi got chuckles Thursday when she started a news conference by donning dark glasses, a teasingly sympathetic gesture to the man standing next to her, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
"I brought my glasses to be like Harry, but he switched on me," Pelosi said, removing her shades.
In recent days, Reid indeed has worn dark glasses in the Capitol, partly hiding the serious injury to his right eye suffered while exercising at his Nevada home on New Year's Day.
Reid said an elastic exercise band snapped, causing him to fall and break bones in his face. He had two surgeries in January, including one to replace his cornea. He belatedly joined the new Congress, wearing a large bandage over his right eye and cheek.
The bandage eventually gave way to dark glasses. On Thursday, Reid faced cameras in normal reading glasses, but with an opaque right lens to hide the injured eye.
The extent to which Reid might recover sight in the eye won't be known for weeks, aides say.
Pelosi and Reid used the press conference to berate Republicans for refusing to fund the Homeland Security Department unless Congress reverses President Barack Obama's changes to deportation policies.
A few inches of snow provided one lawmaker with all the evidence he needed to disprove global warming.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who has called global warming a hoax, came to the Senate floor armed with a snowball from the few inches Washington, D.C., received earlier in the day and the remnants of a weekend snowfall.
"You know what this is?" he asked, holding up the white orb he extracted from a Ziploc bag. "It's a snowball, just from outside here. So, it's very, very cold out, very unseasonable."
He then tossed the snowball to Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who was presiding over the chamber, saying, "Mr. President, catch this."
As Inhofe pointed out prior to his snowball throw, the federal government named 2014 the warmest year on record, the third time in the last decade the planet has broken the record. Inhofe has acknowledged the climate is changing. Earlier, this year, in a surprise move, he co-sponsored an amendment to a bill approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline that said climate change is real and not a hoax.
But he doesn't believe human beings are to blame, even though the majority of scientists believe the burning of fossil fuels is responsible for a warming planet and unusual weather patterns.