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Niels Lesniewski


Niels Lesniewski covers the Senate for Roll Call. He joined what is now CQ Roll Call in September 2007, hired by Roll Call for the GalleryWatch legislative tracking service that was integrated into CQ in 2009. He is known for his expertise on the peculiarities of Senate procedure.

Niels began covering the Senate for CQ in January 2010, taking the title of CQ SenateWatch editor in the summer of 2011. He has contributed to coverage of all the biggest policy stories on Capitol Hill in recent years, including the response to the 2008 financial collapse, the health care overhaul and several budget standoffs.

A Connecticut native, Niels graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a dual degree in theatre and government. Before joining CQ Roll Call, he worked for theater productions in D.C. and New England. While in college, he interned for ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Outside of work, Niels is an avid sports fan. He started attending Nationals games back when the team was among the worst in the National League and still playing at RFK Stadium.

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Stories by Niels Lesniewski:

Mikulski Sets Senate Ebola Hearing Two Days After Elections (Updated)

Oct. 20, 2014

Updated 2:15 p.m. | As the threat of the Ebola virus in the United States appears to be easing, Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski announced she would hold a hearing on the issue two days after voters are scheduled to go to the polls.

McConnell Says CDC Should Get Money Needed to Battle Ebola

Oct. 15, 2014

If federal health agencies under President Barack Obama want more money to fight Ebola, they should get it, according to the Senateís top Republican.

Barney Frank's Advice for Mitch McConnell

Oct. 15, 2014

Former Rep. Barney Frank has some words of wisdom for Sen. Mitch McConnell, should the Kentucky Republican claim the majority leaderís job in January.

Democratic Poll: Jeanne Shaheen Leads Scott Brown

Oct. 15, 2014

New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen maintained a significant, single-digit lead in a new Democratic tracking poll.

Portman: Ohio Constituent Faced 108 Minute Wait on Ebola Hotline (Updated)

Oct. 15, 2014

Updated 5:49 p.m. | Sen. Rob Portman says it took an Ohio constituent almost two hours to get through to the Ebola hotline at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cornyn, Cruz Back Obamacare Lawsuit Over Origination Clause

Oct. 14, 2014

Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz are backing another Obamacare lawsuit, hoping to upend the law.

No Attorney General Pick Until After Elections, White House Says

Oct. 14, 2014

Eric H. Holder Jr. better not pack up his Justice Department office just yet.

Senate Odd Couple Seeks Common Ground on Climate Change

Oct. 14, 2014

POINT JUDITH, R.I. ó A visit to the Ocean Stateís eroding shoreline didnít prompt West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III to change his mind about Environmental Protection Agency regulation of carbon emissions, but his host wasnít expecting that sort of evolution.

Twitter's Most Popular Congressional Staffer Gets New Title

Oct. 14, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz has a new communications director in his Senate shop, but itís a familiar face. Amanda Carpenter, the most-followed congressional staffer on Twitter, is getting a title that aligns more with her recent duties.

Independents Could Control Power in Senate

Oct. 10, 2014

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. ó The power in the Senate could increasingly flow not to Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell, but to a few independents who could hold the keys to the majority ó and they know it.

Goodell Responds to Boxer, Says NFL Will Not Tolerate Domestic Violence

Oct. 9, 2014

The National Football League has responded to one of its foremost critics in the Senate, and this time sheís optimistic about what Commissioner Roger Goodell had to say.

McConnell: My Job Is to Protect Coal Jobs, Not Speculate on Global Warming (Audio)

Oct. 8, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would have none of it when the host of Kentucky Sports Radio pressed him Wednesday for his personal views on global warming.

Why Senate Attendance Attacks Are Usually Bogus (Video)

Oct. 8, 2014

The worst-kept secret on Capitol Hill? Senators miss committee hearings and meetings. All the time.

Republicans Eye Obamacare Showdown in Lame Duck

Oct. 8, 2014

Updated 5:22 p.m. | A group of Senate Republicans have their eye on another Obamacare showdown in the lame-duck session.

Democratic Senator: Restrict Africa Visas Due to Ebola

Oct. 7, 2014

A Senate Democrat is joining the chorus of calls for travel restrictions from African countries with Ebola outbreaks.

Cruz Says 60 Days Are Up for War Powers Against ISIS

Oct. 6, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz is pointing out that on Monday, the 60 days for military intervention under the War Powers Resolution should run out since the start of operations in Iraq against ISIS.

Schumer: Screen Passengers From Ebola-Stricken Areas

Oct. 5, 2014

New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer wants federal officials to check passengers from Ebola-afflicted countries for fevers when entering the United States.

Official Transcript of Biden Event Excludes 'Bitch' Quip

Oct. 3, 2014

If you were relying on the White House transcript of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.ís visit to Harvard, you would have missed the best quote.

Grimes Campaign Used Vehicles Owned By Family Business

Oct. 3, 2014

A tour bus that roiled Kentuckyís Senate race in August may have been parked after suggestions of impropriety, but smaller vehicles owned by companies associated with Alison Lundergan Grimesí father have remained on the road for campaign purposes.

Biden Jokes: Being VP a 'Bitch'

Oct. 3, 2014

Minutes after repeating his familiar warning that sometimes he does not know when to stop saying all that he means, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. let out quite a quip at Harvardís Institute of Politics Thursday night.

When a questioner identified himself as the vice president of the Harvard student body, Biden chimed in, ďisnít it a bitch, I mean Ö that vice president thing?Ē

Knowing what had just come out of his own mouth, Biden quickly added ĒIím joking. Iím joking. Iím joking. The best decision I ever made.

ďThat was a joke. That was a joke,Ē he continued.

Ted Cruz Asks FAA About Ebola Flight Ban

Oct. 2, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz is asking the Federal Aviation Administration what itís doing to prevent the spread of Ebola after the first U.S. diagnosis, which came in his home state.

Julia Pierson Resignation Steps on Schumer's Presser

Oct. 1, 2014

Sen. Charles E. Schumerís plans to call for Julia Piersonís resignation were spoiled when she beat him to the punch.

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns (Updated) (Video)

Oct. 1, 2014

Updated 3:44 p.m. | Julia Pierson has resigned as director of the Secret Service amid a firestorm over lapses in presidential security that had lawmakers lining up to call for her to go.

Bill Clinton Appears in Kentucky Senate Race Ad

Oct. 1, 2014

Former President Bill Clinton stars in a new ad for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimesí bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Forest Service Photography Rule Faces Bipartisan Critics in the Senate

Sept. 30, 2014

Senators donít seem satisfied with the Forest Serviceís latest assurances that a proposal to require permits for commercial filming and still photography on federal lands wonít apply to the press or to recreational photographers.

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