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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:

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.

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.

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.

Kay Hagan Has Emergency Eye Surgery

Aug. 1, 2014

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wyden Ponders Release of CIA Torture Report Without White House Consent

July 25, 2014

A senior Senate Democrat is firing a warning shot at the White House against stalling the release of a report about the past use of torture by the U.S. intelligence community.

McConnell Seeks to Break Out Funding for Israel's Iron Dome From Border Bill

July 24, 2014

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is introducing standalone legislation to provide funding for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Durbin Puts His Mark on Defense Bill

July 24, 2014

Waging war on smoking, for-profit colleges and tax loopholes may sound like odd subjects for the military spending bill, but not when you consider who is wielding the gavel.

VA Talks Collapse (Updated) (Video)

July 24, 2014

Updated 1:08 p.m. | Talks on a fix for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ health care crisis have collapsed, after the lead Senate Democratic negotiator accused the top House GOP negotiator of a “take-it-or-leave-it gambit.”

Cruz Threatens to Delay State Department Nominees Over FAA's Israel Flight Ban

July 23, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz announced late Wednesday that he would hold up State Department nominees over a moratorium on U.S. flight traffic to Tel Aviv.

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