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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:

ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

Feb. 6, 2015

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016.

Murphy Seeks to Be Progressive Voice in Foreign Policy Debates

Feb. 5, 2015

A Democratic senator has launched a new campaign-style effort to lend a voice to progressives in foreign policy, saying there’s a void in the current debate.

Graham Dings Cruz Effort to Block Loretta Lynch

Feb. 3, 2015

Sen. Lindsey Graham is knocking Sen. Ted Cruz’s effort to block Loretta Lynch from becoming attorney general over immigration.

Democrats Unified, in Campaign Mode on Immigration Orders

Feb. 3, 2015

The gavel had barely dropped on Senate Republicans’ failed first attempt to block President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration when the Democratic campaign arm started blasting GOP senators for their votes.

Lobster and Ham on the Menu for Bipartisan Senate Luncheon (Updated)

Feb. 3, 2015

Updated 12:23 p.m. | On Wednesday, senators will gather for a most unusual bipartisan Senate lunch.

Ferrier Takes Helm of Senate Republican Communications Center

Feb. 3, 2015

The post-employment “cooling off” period didn’t even have time to expire before Antonia Ferrier found her way back to the Senate as part of the new Republican majority.

RNC Adds Press Secretary From 'Team Mitch'

Feb. 2, 2015

The Republican National Committee hired the former campaign spokeswoman to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as its national press secretary for 2016, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Harry Reid Returns to the Floor After Injury

Feb. 2, 2015

When a scarred and bandaged Minority Leader Harry Reid appeared on the Senate floor for his first speech of the year, the chamber’s new majority leader and Reid’s own top deputy slipped and briefly called him the “majority leader.”

Aside from his appearance, Reid was his old self, blasting Republicans over the Keystone XL pipeline legislation that occupied the chamber’s first month, as well as the GOP-led effort to stop funding for President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration as part of the current Homeland Security spending debate.

“We should pass a Homeland Security bill with no strings attached to it. That’s where we’re going to wind up,” Reid said.

Senate Turns to Immigration Amid Return of Shutdown Rhetoric

Feb. 2, 2015

As Senate Democrats praised the GOP majority for a new era of openness, they were already preparing for an abrupt turn when the chamber’s attention focuses on immigration.

Harry Reid Returns to the Floor

Feb. 2, 2015

When a scarred and bandaged Minority Leader Harry Reid appeared on the Senate floor for his first speech of the year, the chamber’s new majority leader and Reid’s own top deputy slipped and briefly called him the “majority leader.”

Senator Presses NFL on Domestic Violence Ahead of Super Bowl

Jan. 30, 2015

Sen. Richard Blumenthal isn’t convinced the National Football League is doing everything possible to address domestic violence.

GOP Senators Seek to Put Focus Back on VA Scandal

Jan. 29, 2015

A group of Republican senators hopes to return attention to accountability issues at the Veterans’ Affairs Department that have disappeared from the headlines.

Cruz Says Fate of 'Dangerous' Lynch Up to McConnell

Jan. 28, 2015

Sen. Ted Cruz called attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch’s immigration views “dangerous” Wednesday and questioned whether Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., should even have the chamber consider her nomination.

Govs Rib Each Other Over Snowstorm

Jan. 28, 2015

The governor of Vermont tweaked the governor of another New England state Wednesday morning for his state’s handling of the snowstorm that hit earlier this week.

Lynch to Say She Wants Better Relations With Congress

Jan. 28, 2015

When attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch takes the hot seat Wednesday morning, she’s planning to tell senators that she’s aiming for better relations with the legislative branch.

Menendez Changes His Tune

Jan. 28, 2015

Robert Menendez has gone from administration goat to hero in a week.

Score One for Norquist, GOP on 529 College Savings Accounts

Jan. 27, 2015

Somewhere, Grover Norquist is happily tweeting over his latest victory.

Feinstein Disputes CIA Report on Spying on Senate

Jan. 27, 2015

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is disputing findings of a CIA Accountability Board review that determined no one should be punished for accessing Senate computer files.

7 Democrats Said to Back New Iran Sanctions Bill

Jan. 27, 2015

Some Democratic supporters opposed to immediate floor consideration of more conditional sanctions against Iran are signing new legislation spearheaded by Sen. Mark S. Kirk.

Senate Absences Begin for 2016 (Updated)

Jan. 26, 2015

Updated 3:15 p.m. | It may be January, but the Senate absences for potential presidential candidates have already begun.

Grassley to Ramp Up Oversight at Judiciary

Jan. 26, 2015

When Loretta Lynch paid Sen. Charles E. Grassley a visit last month, the new Judiciary Committee chairman handed her a book — of all the unanswered letters he’s sent to the administration.

John McCain's Counterterrorism Contretemps

Jan. 26, 2015

“Yeah, you know, Yemen falls to the Houthis, and we’re talking about football.”

McConnell Shows He's the Boss

Jan. 23, 2015

The honeymoon may be over for Mitch McConnell.

Wendell Ford, Longtime Kentucky Senator, Dies at 90

Jan. 22, 2015

Kentucky political legend and purveyor of Southern wit Wendell H. Ford has died.

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