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Niels Lesniewski

Bio:

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:

Flashback: Moira Bagley Smith's Guide to Hill Booze Scene

Sept. 2, 2014

By now, you’ve seen the announcement that Moira Bagley Smith is joining the staff of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., as communications director.

Ted Cruz to Rally for Marilinda Garcia in New Hampshire

Sept. 2, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz is stumping for congressional hopeful Marilinda Garcia this weekend, just ahead of New Hampshire’s Republican primaries next week.

Mitch McConnell's Campaign Manager Resigns

Aug. 29, 2014

Jesse Benton, who had worked as the campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election bid, said Friday he would resign.

Rep. Andy Harris Mourns Wife's Sudden Death

Aug. 28, 2014

The office of Rep. Andy Harris announced on Thursday the unexpected death of the Maryland Republican’s wife.

Republicans Warn of 'Dark and Dangerous' Future if Putin Isn't Confronted on Ukraine (Video)

Aug. 28, 2014

President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed any suggestion of military intervention to address Russia’s further incursion into Ukrainian territory, as Republican lawmakers renewed calls for stronger action.

Obama: US 'Not Taking Military Action to Solve the Ukranian Problem'

Aug. 28, 2014

President Barack Obama on Thursday dismissed any suggestion of military intervention to address Russia’s further incursion into Ukrainian territory, as Republican lawmakers renewed calls for stronger action.

“We are not taking military action to solve the Ukrainian problem. What we’re doing is to mobilize the international community to apply pressure on Russia,” Obama said. “But I think it is very important to recognize that a military solution to this problem is not going to be forthcoming.”

New Englanders, and Political Figures, Relieved as Market Basket Standoff Ends

Aug. 28, 2014

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Across a broad swath of New England, there’s cause for celebration this Thursday — about the local supermarket.

Will New Hampshire GOP Voters Anoint a Rising Star?

Aug. 28, 2014

RINDGE, N.H. — The total Hispanic population in the sprawling 2nd District hovers just above 3 percent, making it one of the least diverse House districts in the country. But Granite State Republicans could nominate a young Latina with star potential who’s already earned plaudits from national conservatives.

McConnell Wants Details From Obama on Plans for ISIS

Aug. 26, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants President Barack Obama to present Congress with a plan to fight the Islamic State, including any potential needs for a new authorization for use of military force.

In New Hampshire, Town Halls and an Arrested Chicken (Video)

Aug. 25, 2014

LOUDON, N.H. — Will the 2014 midterms prove the death-knell for the traditional New Hampshire town hall?

Sherrod Brown: Switch to Wendy's or White Castle if Burger King Goes to Canada (Video)

Aug. 25, 2014

In a statement that might make the late Dave Thomas proud, Sen. Sherrod Brown said Monday that if Burger King sets up shop in Canada as part of a tax inversion, customers should switch to Wendy’s or White Castle.

Schumer Praises New FitBit Privacy Policy

Aug. 22, 2014

Less than two weeks after criticizing the company at a Central Park press conference, Sen. Charles E. Schumer is lauding FitBit’s privacy policy.

White House: Obama Had Constitutional Power for Bergdahl Swap (Video)

Aug. 22, 2014

The White House said Friday that constitutional authorities of the commander in chief trumped possible funding illegality in the transfer of five Taliban members in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

How Expensive Is a Mug of Bacon?

Aug. 22, 2014

MANCHESTER, N.H. | One Republican senator from the Midwest might as well be asking: Will taxes raise the sticker price of this mug of bacon?

Boehner Calls Bergdahl Swap 'Potentially Serious Lapse in Judgment' (Updated)

Aug. 22, 2014

Updated 3:15 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner said Friday that the news the Obama administration ignored the power of the purse in a national security matter should be no surprise.

Chambliss Wants Special Counsel to Investigate Obama on Bergdahl Swap

Aug. 21, 2014

The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee wants a special counsel to investigate President Barack Obama’s swap of five Taliban members for the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Vilsack, Shaheen Visit the Farm

Aug. 20, 2014

LOUDON, N.H. | Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen at a hilltop farm here Tuesday to tout new federal grants.

John McCain Holds Court in 'Second Favorite State'

Aug. 18, 2014

DERRY, N.H. – Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has returned to New Hampshire to campaign — but this time, it’s for former Sen. Scott P. Brown.

Senate Will Review Militarization of Police in Defense Bill, Levin Says

Aug. 15, 2014

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee will look into the program that provides Pentagon surplus to local police before the full Senate considers the next defense authorization.

In Wake of Ferguson, New Focus on Civil Rights, Militarized Cops

Aug. 14, 2014

The nation’s eyes were riveted on the searing images from Ferguson, Mo., Thursday, but the violent protests in that small St. Louis suburb have also unexpectedly pushed two policy debates closer to the front burner in Washington: Civil rights and the militarization of police.

Booker Seeks DOJ Probe of Journalist Arrests in Ferguson

Aug. 14, 2014

Sen. Cory Booker wants the Justice Department to specifically investigate the arrests and detentions of journalists and protesters Wednesday evening in Ferguson, Mo.

Back Home, Top Senate Democrats Upbeat About Holding Majority

Aug. 13, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., — Back in their home states for the August recess, the Senate’s two top Democrats said Wednesday they are optimistic about the prospects of maintaining control of the chamber in November.

Rand Paul Wants Obama to Seek Approval for Extended Iraq Effort (Video)

Aug. 13, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul has joined the calls for President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for an extended military campaign to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq.

Tim Kaine: Obama Needs Congress to OK Iraq Air Strikes

Aug. 12, 2014

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine wants President Barack Obama to seek new approval from Congress for the current bombing campaign in Iraq.

Why Did DEA Pay an Amtrak Employee for Passenger Records?

Aug. 12, 2014

A bizarre revelation contained in a routine Amtrak inspector general report has caught the attention of the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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