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Shawn Zeller


Shawn Zeller is a senior writer for CQ Weekly. He is responsible for the magazine's Vantage Point section and writes about a variety of topics including lobbying, politics, regulation and civil service issues. In 2008, he helped cover the presidential campaign for, a joint project of CQ and the St. Petersburg Times that was awarded a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its campaign coverage.

Zeller came to CQ in June 2005 after two years as a staff correspondent with Government Executive magazine. There, he covered government human resources issues and civil service reform. Prior to that, he was a reporter for National Journal for six years. In that role, he covered lobbying and developed the magazine's semi-annual top 10 survey of Washington lobbying firms.

Zeller is a 1997 graduate of Harvard College where he earned a degree in American History and Literature. He's from Boston originally.

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Stories by Shawn Zeller:

A Cybersecurity Turf War at Home and Abroad

April 27, 2015

The House passed not one, but two, bills last week to provide immunity from consumer lawsuits to companies that share with each other, and with the government, information about cyber-threats and attacks on their networks.

Sharing Threat Intel Is Voluntary in New Bills

April 27, 2015

Neither cybersecurity bill passed by the House last week would require that companies share information about cyber-threats. Itís voluntary.

In Comcast's Failed Merger, a Victory for Al Franken

April 25, 2015

Lawmakers use congressional hearings and letters to wield influence over corporate mergers - and that was† certainly the case with Sen. Al Franken and the now-failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal.

Vote Study Shows Obama Gets His Way in GOP-Controlled Senate

April 20, 2015

Republicans took the Senate in 2014 by stressing the data that CQ Roll Callís presidential support vote study revealed: Democrats in red states were sticking close to President Barack Obama. So hereís a surprise: the new GOP majority in 2015 is voting Obamaís way as often as they ever have.

114th Congress Has Hands-Off Approach to Post-Ferguson Police Issues

April 20, 2015

After the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last August and the protests against police brutality that ensued, it seemed a bipartisan consensus had emerged in Washington that something was deeply wrong with law enforcement in majority-black communities. Protesters demanded Congress correct disparities in policing that make it far more likely for a black person to die in custody than a white one.

Cleaver Sees Potential in Administration's Action on Police Brutality

April 20, 2015

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Mo., has been frustrated in his attempts to get Congress to move on an overhaul of police practices.

Congress' Surveillance Views Have Changed

April 13, 2015

When Congress last reauthorized the Patriot Act in 2011, it went fairly easily. A majority of House Democrats objected, but support was strong among House Republicans and in both parties in the Senate. But lawmakers began to have second thoughts last year.

Conservatives Push for Patriot Act Limits as June 1 Expiration Date Nears

April 13, 2015

With key provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire on June 1, conservative advocacy groups are telling Republican lawmakers they should make significant changes to the governmentís authority to collect data about Americans.

Patent Overhaul Lobbyists Battle It Out

March 16, 2015

As lobbying coalitions go, United for Patent Reform looks fierce as it wades into whatís expected to be one of 2015ís highest-profile lobbying duels in Congress.

Patent Reform Coalition Tries to Please Both Parties, Chambers

March 16, 2015

The United for Patent Reform coalition has to win over congressional Democrats, who hold the key to getting a patent bill out of Congress, as well as Senate Republicans, who must feel confident the issue is important enough to risk bringing up in the face of potential Democratic roadblocks.

Hotels Move to Make 911 Dialing Easier for Guests

Feb. 23, 2015

Republicans often push voluntary programs to avert the need for new regulations, with mixed success. In the case of Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Paiís campaign to get hotels to allow direct 911 calls from their rooms, so far so good.

FCC Calls for Greater Accuracy in 911 Call Locations

Feb. 23, 2015

Although 7 out of 10 emergency calls are made from cellphones, the location data sent to help 911 responders go to the right place is notoriously inaccurate. In response to an outcry from members of Congress, the Federal Communications Commission is trying to fix the problem. But itís going to be a slow process.

Congress is Good at Shrinking One Part of Government

Jan. 20, 2015

Your average House member represented 710,767 people in 2010. The same lawmaker represented 469,088 people in 1970. Despite the 52 percent increase in constituents, each House member today can have no more than 18 staff members, a limit that hasnít changed since 1975.

Press Galleries Pushing McCarthy for 'Pen and Pad' Briefings

Sept. 17, 2014

Members of the Capitol Hill press corps are pushing for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to reinstate weekly ďpen and padĒ briefings to discuss the agenda, a tradition that ended with former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

Senate Approps Wants You! (To Talk About Research)

April 18, 2014

The Senate Appropriations Committee took to Twitter to solicit ideas for an upcoming hearing on federal investments in innovation.

House to Vote Next Week on Abortion Ban Bill

Jan. 22, 2014

Updated 4:45 p.m. | The House will vote next week on legislation to bar federal funding for abortions, Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced on Wednesday.

Some Democrats Holding Out for Unemployment Benefits

Dec. 11, 2013

Senior House Democrats are warning that they could withhold pivotal votes Thursday on the emerging budget agreement if Republican leaders donít agree to put a three-month extension of unemployment insurance into the package.

Top Consultants Join Primary Campaign Against Democratic Incumbent (Updated)

Nov. 14, 2013

Updated 10:10 p.m. | Former Marine Seth Moultonís campaign announced Thursday that two top Democratic consulting firms have joined his effort to unseat six-term Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass.

Mini-Golf Returning to National Building Museum, With Barbecue

May 1, 2013

The National Building Museum is bringing back one of its most popular exhibits, air-conditioned mini-golf courses, from Memorial Day, May 27, to Labor Day, Sept. 2. And itís bringing along some smoked meat and beer.

New Hampshire: Local Republicans Skeptical on Scott Brown

April 5, 2013

Updated 4:14 p.m.|National Republicans are encouraged by former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brownís interest in the New Hampshire Senate race.

Scott Brown Falls Victim to Well-Phrased 'Pocket Tweets'

Feb. 19, 2013

Finally! The truth about those misspelled, out-of-character tweets that former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., sent out after midnight on the night of Jan. 26!

DSCC Chairman Bennet Named to Finance Committee

Dec. 12, 2012

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., has landed a coveted seat on the Senate Finance Committee after agreeing to serve as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Denver Post is reporting.

Ohio: Jim Renacci Releases Poll Amid Questions on Ad Strategy

Oct. 26, 2012

CHICAGO ó Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) today released a poll that showed him with a 10-point lead over his opponent, Rep. Betty Sutton (D).

Illinois: Poll Gives Tammy Duckworth a 10-Point Lead Over Joe Walsh

Oct. 26, 2012

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill. ó Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) had a 10-point advantage over freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R) in the most recent poll of the suburban Chicago 8th district.

Wisconsin: Tommy Thompson Writes Big Check to His Senate Campaign

Oct. 18, 2012

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) has contributed $832,000 in personal funds to his Senate campaign, according to an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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