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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:

Congressional Leaders Back Iraq Airstrikes; Hawks Push for Broader War on ISIL

Aug. 8, 2014

Updated 11:22 a.m. | Congressional leaders are backing President Barack Obama’s decision to authorize air strikes in Iraq as the first bombs began falling, although hawks are pushing for a far broader military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also knowns as ISIS.

Senators Watching as Kerry Visits Myanmar

Aug. 8, 2014

When Secretary of State John Kerry arrives in Myanmar Saturday to meet with government officials there along with ASEAN Regional Forum and other meetings, the Senate will be watching.

Hurricane Iselle Could Cause Havoc for Hawaii Primary (Video)

Aug. 7, 2014

The Hawaii primary is in a state of uncertainty, as Hurricane Iselle and a second storm barrel toward the islands and get-out-the-vote pushes are intermixed with information on where to find emergency assistance.

#tbt: Intern Duties

Aug. 7, 2014

Cuts to National Guard Motorsports Sponsorships Draw Mixed Reviews

Aug. 7, 2014

Lawmakers are predictably split on the National Guard’s announcement it will be slashing motor sports sponsorships — just days after a car sporting the Guard’s livery won a major NASCAR race.

Ron Johnson Appealing Obamacare Ruling, Will 'Exhaust Every Legal Recourse'

Aug. 5, 2014

Sen. Ron Johnson isn’t giving up his legal fight to toss health benefits for members of Congress and their staff participating in Obamacare.

Durbin, Reed, Warren Seek Executive Action to Combat 'Inversion'

Aug. 5, 2014

A trio of liberal Senate Democrats want President Barack Obama to make use of his “pen and phone” to cut down on corporate “inversions.”

Feinstein Withholds Report on CIA Torture, Writes Letter to Obama

Aug. 5, 2014

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein isn’t happy with the redactions being demanded by the administration to her committee’s report on torture by the CIA, and she wants the president to intervene.

Leahy: Reported USAID HIV Ruse in Cuba 'Worse Than Irresponsible'

Aug. 4, 2014

The U.S. Agency for International Development’s top appropriator is not amused with a new Associated Press report about the agency’s activities in Cuba.

Congress Takes August Recess, Avoids Recess Appointments

Aug. 4, 2014

Updated: 3 p.m. | Congress will officially be on recess starting Tuesday — but President Barack Obama won’t use the opportunity to make recess appointments.

McCain: 'What Did the Director of the CIA Know and When Did He Know It?'

Aug. 1, 2014

Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham have joined the chorus expressing outrage at the bombshell confirmation that the CIA was snooping on the Senate.

Feinstein Reviewing Redactions in Senate Torture Report

Aug. 1, 2014

Updated 10:26 p.m. | The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report into torture by the CIA is in the panel’s hands but is still under review, Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said late Friday.

Kay Hagan Has Emergency Eye Surgery

Aug. 1, 2014

Sen. Kay Hagan was undergoing emergency eye surgery this morning in North Carolina.

Reid: CIA Snooping on the Senate 'Appalling'

July 31, 2014

Majority Leader Harry Reid called the CIA’s snooping on computers used by Intelligence Committee staff “appalling and deeply threatening to our system of checks and balances” and is demanding changes.

Republicans Block Many Ambassador Nominations in 'Nuclear Option' Fallout (Updated)

July 31, 2014

Updated 11:07 p.m. | The Senate may not be confirming nominees to posts in a slew of countries before departing for the August recess, but after some procedural maneuvering, the U.S. will be getting a top diplomat in Russia.

Reid Warns of Weekend Work in September

July 31, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is warning of a whirlwind September schedule that will feature a slew of do-over votes on Democratic campaign priorities.

"I want everyone to know what's going to happen when we come back. Following the August recess, we're going to convene on Sept. 8, and we're going to be here for one week, two weeks and two days. Sept. 23 is our target date to adjourn until after the election," the Nevada Democrat said when opening the Senate floor Thursday for the last expected session day before the August break.

Dr. No Plans One-Man Blockade on Bills That Add to Deficit

July 31, 2014

Dr. No is at again, despite the jet fumes in the air.

CIA Confirms Staff Inappropriately Accessed Senate Investigators' Computers; Udall Calls for Brennan's Resignation (Updated) (Video)

July 31, 2014

Updated 5:18 p.m. | The inspector general at the CIA has determined agency personnel gained inappropriate access to computers used by Senate investigators probing torture during the George W. Bush administration.

Bob Corker's High-Wire Act

July 31, 2014

Sen. Bob Corker is out on a limb. Or maybe more than one.

Reid Warns of Weekend Work in September (Video)

July 31, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is warning of a whirlwind September schedule that will feature a slew of do-over votes on Democratic campaign priorities.

Marking the Quarter-Century Point for the Greatest Floor Speech of All Time (Video)

July 30, 2014

When a young man, likely an intern, approached Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin near the Capitol basement ATM Tuesday afternoon asking the Illinois Democrat to sign a baseball, he faced an unexpected question from this reporter: Did he prefer wooden or aluminum bats?

Corker Lauds Victory on Highway Stopgap, Pushes House to Accept

July 30, 2014

Sen. Bob Corker is working the phones, trying to garner support on the House side for a shorter Senate-passed highway extension in a bid to force action in the lame duck.

As Ted Cruz Lifts Hold, Diplomats Have a Chance at Confirmation (Video)

July 28, 2014

There’s a chance at least some of the ambassadors caught in a legislative holding pattern might be confirmed before the August recess.

Reid Open to Separate Funding for Israel, Wildfires and Border in Pre-Recess Rush

July 28, 2014

The pre-recess rush began Monday with a plea from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

VA Health Care Deal Reached; Miller, Sanders Plan to Announce Monday (Updated)

July 27, 2014

Updated 9:39 p.m. | A $15 billion VA health care deal has been reached after a weekend of negotiating to resolve differences between the House and Senate.

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